SPLOST VI Process Moving Forward in Stephens Co.

Stephens County, along with the county’s municipalities, will begin joint meetings on SPLOST VI coming up later this month.

Stephens County Administrator Phyllis Ayers sent out a letter Monday to the mayors of the county’s municipalities regarding SPLOST VI.

Ayers said the letter formally invites the municipalities to participate in the SPLOST process and attend the first joint meeting on SPLOST VI on April 22.

“The county has been meeting on meeting on its own, had two or three meetings, working on projects and looking at requests from the county side and I am assuming the city of Toccoa, city of Avalon, and city of Martin will probably come having done the same thing, but this is the first of a series of joint meetings for the three cities and one county,” said Ayers.

That April 22 meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. at the historic Stephens County Courthouse in downtown Toccoa. Additional joint meetings on SPLOST VI are currently scheduled for May 13, June 10, and July 15, with possible adoption of a SPLOST VI resolution on July 23.

If Stephens County voters approve SPLOST VI in November, collection would begin on July 1, 2014, right after the end of the current SPLOST on June 30, 2014.

Ayers said everything is currently on schedule regarding the SPLOST process.

“We actually started talking about this at a retreat months ago and I had put a timeline together and a brief snapshot of how the SPLOST V proceeds are going to begin to look at a formal projection (of total SPLOST VI receipts),” said Ayers. “A formal projection has not actually been provided. It will be provided at the April 22nd meeting.”

The one-cent SPLOST, or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, goes towards special projects as laid out by local governments in the referendum.

As far as the county is concerned, Ayers said that commissioners have not finalized the county’s list of possible SPLOST VI projects to take to the joint meeting for further consideration.

However, she said that those discussions are ongoing.

“We are still looking at what to leave in and take out, but I think it is a huge consensus from the county side that a majority of the county funds go to much needed road, bridge, infrastructure, and culvert (projects) in the county,” said Ayers.

Stephens County Commissioners have announced that they will continue those discussions on April 9 immediately following the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting.