SPLOST turnout under 3% as early voting ends Friday


Polls open countywide next Tuesday, March 21

The opportunity to vote early for the Fayette County Special Purpose Location Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is nearing an end. The last day to vote early is this Friday, March 17. After that, voters can go to the polls on March 21. It’s a one-issue election in Fayette, with only one question on the ballot — Yes or no for levying the extra penny per dollar tax on retail sales.

Elections Supervisor Floyd Jones said a total of 1,987 residents had voted by the close of the day on March 10. Projecting voter turnout for the SPLOST is difficult since this is the first stand-alone SPLOST vote in a number of years.

“We just don’t know if this is a normal turnout,” Jones said.

While the final turnout remains to be seen, the less than 2,000 votes cast by March 10 is but a small fraction of the 88,630 registered voters — less than 3 percent at this point. That’s out of a Census-estimated mid-2015 county population of 110,714.

If approved by voters, the tax will be collected from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2023. Fayette County and the municipalities of Brooks, Fayetteville, Peachtree City, and Tyrone will share the SPLOST proceeds based on population.

Polls are currently open at the Fayette County elections office at the county complex in downtown Fayetteville, at the Peachtree City Library and at Tyrone Town Hall, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, through March 17.

There will be no voting on Monday, March 20.

Those who vote on March 21, should go to their normal polling place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

If approved for a 6-year term, the one-percent levy on retail sales is projected to produce a total of $141 million, with $64.6 million going to fund county projects. Of the total, Peachtree City is expected to receive $45.5 million, Fayetteville will get $21.1 million, Tyrone $9.1 million and Brooks a little over $693,000.

Fayette County’s SPLOST list includes 263 projects, mainly in the area of stormwater, but also in transportation, the public safety radio system, fire and emergency services and one project for the renovation of the historic mercantile building in Woolsey for use as a town hall, museum and community center.

Fayetteville’s list includes projects related to stormwater, transportation, public safety and parks and recreation.

The Peachtree City SPLOST list includes roads, the multi-use path system, public safety, parks and recreation and dam/spillway enhancements for Lake Peachtree.

Tyrone will use SPLOST revenues for transportation, stormwater, sewer, public facilities, parks and recreation, debt service and grants.

Brooks will use the proceeds for transportation and as a set-aside for the county-managed water system.

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