Disclaimer – The CID has received many questions about the upcoming ballot questions. The following information is presented for educational purposes only.
A voter-approved sales tax increase would raise money to repave more than 318 miles of DeKalb’s worst roads – those already filled with potholes and cracks. It would also fund new fire station construction, police car purchases, park repairs and address other infrastructure needs.
Tucker’s allocation of the proceeds raised by the potential sales tax would be $31.7 million over six years, and your CID representatives have been meeting regularly with city and county officials to assure that they are aware of our deteriorating road conditions. As the District lies almost completely within the city limits of Tucker, much of the $31.7 million received by Tucker will fund road paving and repairs within the Stone Mountain CID.
DeKalb’s government budgets enough money to repave only about 20 miles of roads each year. At a cost of $400,000 per mile to repave, DeKalb’s existing $8.4 million road resurfacing budget (for this year), the county would never reduce its road resurfacing backlog.
The new EHOST (the E is for Equalized) does two things: First, it removes any use of the funding for capital purposes. Each year, 100% of the revenue must be used to reduce property taxes for homeowners. Secondly, it applies the revenue first to rollback millage rates levied countywide (General and Hospital currently). If there’s enough total EHOST revenue to provide a 100% rollback of countywide property taxes, then any remaining funding can reduce taxes in cities and non-countywide districts. The total estimated property tax relief from EHOST is more than $110 million annually, which is more than a 50% increase compared to HOST.
How will this funding be distributed? Who will get how much? DeKalb’s cities and the county passed what is called an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to create a distribution formula based on the population of each city. The tax is expected to generate $636 million over the next six years. The formula and estimated figures agreed to by the cities and the county are in the chart below.
Q: How can the funds be used?
A. Roads / transportation projects, public safety projects and the repair of capital outlay projects.
Q: What is the process for deciding how the funds will be spent?
A: Senate Bill 156 determines how the SPLOST proceeds must be spent. DeKalb County and all municipalities must comply with the rules included in the legislation.
Q: Who established the revenue estimates for SPLOST?
A: DeKalb County is responsible for estimating the SPLOST revenues expected to be collected over the life of the SPLOST, as well as the costs of all projects to be financed.
Q: How much detail is required in the SPLOST referendum?
A: The SPLOST law requires that the purpose or purposes for which SPLOST revenues will be used be written on the ballot. The degree of specificity is left to the county or municipality imposing the SPLOST.
For more details on the SPLOST discussion in DeKalb County, visit www.dekalbsplost.com.