The Peachtree City Council decided Thursday night that it is on board with asking residents to approve a one-percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for a two-year period. The city’s permission was necessary for the county commission to authorize putting the matter on the ballot this fall.
While the county wants to use its share to replace failing culverts underneath and beside roads, there is significant interest for Peachtree City to use its share to fund its annual road and cart path repair budget of about $1.5 million a year.
Councilman Eric Imker said the city’s share for the two years, estimated at $13.4 million, would surpass the $10.5 million the city got over five years from the countywide transportation sales tax approved in 2004.
Those funds could pay for the city’s road and cart path needs for eight years, or perhaps for fewer with the addition of new cart paths requested by citizens, Imker said. There is also a chance for the city to reduce its millage rate, Imker added.
Imker estimated the tax would cost him about $200 a year, assuming that he would buy $30,000 in taxable items in the county.
By the same token, raising a like amount via a property tax increase would cost residents about $365 a year, Imker said. The difference comes from out-of-town shoppers, Imker added.
Councilman George Dienhart said he liked the idea of the two years of tax revenue having an impact lasting six years or more.
“If things are tightly managed, and we do things the right way, there’s just no downside to this,” Dienhart said.
Councilwoman Kim Learnard was also on board with offering the sales tax to voters.
Mayor Don Haddix said he was against the sales tax proposal, saying he wants the city to get a long-term financial plan set in stone before he would agree to consider any additional taxes.
Council directed city staff to begin preparing a potential list of projects to be funded by the sales tax.
CORRECTION — The previous headline on this story incorrectly indicated that a formal vote had been taken and gave the purported vote count. That headline was erroneous. The council instead informally decided — 3-to-1, with Haddix dissenting — to develop a list of potential projects.