PTC to talk SPLOST spending projects Tues. night

Tuesday night, the Peachtree City Council will discuss what projects the city might fund with a proposed countywide two-year sales tax, which will be up for a vote this November.

If approved, the sales tax would provide the city with an additional $13.4 million in revenue. Several on council have already said they would like to see the funds cover the city’s road and cart path resurfacing budget for several years. Other ideas bandied about included earmarking SPLOST funds to expand part of the cart path system or perhaps reducing the city’s millage rate.

If the sales tax fails at the ballot box, the city will need to find another way to raise the $1.5 million needed for road and path resurfacing, which was removed from the annual budget after the last countywide SPLOST was implemented in 2004.

The workshop meeting will convene at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

At the same meeting Tuesday night, council will hear a presentation from the city’s Needs Assessment Committee on the results of a scientifically-based citizen survey it conducted, and its recommendation to increase the millage rate by half a mill as justified by the survey results.

As for the proposed countywide SPLOST, Mayor Don Haddix has said he prefers using the entire sales tax proceeds to pay off city debt, which he contends would save the city $3 million a year. That would create more than enough cushion in future years to cover the annual cost of cart path and road resurfacing, but it might not be enticing enough to gain voter approval, if that’s even in the realm of possibility.

Haddix has questioned whether the SPLOST proposal from the county is viable considering that the county wants to use its portion of the funds to pay for stormwater projects such as culvert repair and replacements. Because Peachtree City and Fayetteville already charge their property owners an extra fee for stormwater improvements, Haddix contends city residents would in effect be “double taxed” by having to pay the sales tax.

Although voters last year approved an extension of the one percent sales tax for the Fayette County School System, the previous two sales tax proposals involving transportation projects have failed: last summer’s regional transportation SPLOST and a countywide transportation SPLOST in 2009 which also proposed building a speculative college campus for the county as well.

Council at its April 18 meeting directed city staff to begin preparing a list of projects for potential SPLOST funding.