Voters to cast ballots for SPLOST - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Voters to cast ballots for SPLOST

Fitzgerald- Herbert Jones says it's the easiest and quickest ballot he's ever cast.

"It is the best penny that we could ever spend," Jones says.

He checked yes on his absentee ballot, yes to a 1-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for the city and county.

"Our people need the services. Other youth need it, our schools need it, everybody does need it," says Jones.

The 6-year SPLOST would mean sales tax in Ben Hill County would stay at the current 7% rate. It's expected to bring in more than $15.5 million.

"Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax has to be for capital projects infrastructure, buildings, or roads, or bridges," says Fitzgerald Mayor Gerald Thompson.

Thompson says Fitzgerald and Ben Hill County will get equal portions of the money, and the city will use most of theirs on restoring their old city hall.

"We're going to take that old city hall building and the jail and police administration building next door and really restore it to it's original. Put the clock tower back on it and the clocks back in it," Thompson says.

Campaign signs around the county remind voters of the previous SPLOST projects which include the law enforcement center and a new fire station.

"Probably 20% or 25% of this money will come from outside the county," says Thompson.

It may have taken only seconds to cast a ballot, but Jones is confident his penny vote will go a long way.

"That one vote is the same as that one penny, it does much for seeing that things are kept right," Jones says.

About 130 voters cast ballots last week during the advance voting period. All five precincts will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM Tuesday. Election officials say voters should be able to cast ballots in less than five minutes.

Posted at 5:00 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com