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Will Valdosta continue SPLOST?

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August 19, 2002

by Ashley Harper

A penny goes a long way in Lowndes County with the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, known to most as SPLOST.

"There's an awful lot of things that we need to get done and we really need to keep SPLOST for all these things to happen," said Crawford Powell, SPLOST V Chairman.

Tomorrow, Lowndes County voters will decide whether or not to keep the SPLOST Tax that began its first phase in 1987. Since then, the one percent sales tax has been renewed three times. City officials hope voters will do the same tomorrow.

"As the community has grown the funds received from SPLOST each year has drastically increased, and we hope in the future, they will continue to grow even more," said Larry Hanson, City Manager.

To date, SPLOST IV has generated nearly 67 million dollars. That money has been used to fund many projects around town, such as the new fire station and Senior Citizens Center.

Other SPLOST projects include water and sewage improvements, parks and recreation facilities, and many transportation improvements.

"We have certain roads that would have to be widened anyway, and by using the SPLOST tax, we do not have to pass it along to property owners," said Hanson.

Lowndes county residents say the tax is a great way to use taxpayers' money.

"I think its a great idea because I don't want my property taxes paying for the things SPLOST funds," said Eric Hahn, Lowndes County taxpayer.

Another benefit is that a large percentage of SPLOST funding comes from people other than Lowndes county residents.

"Forty-three cents of SPLOST funds are generated by people who don't live in Lowndes County," said Hanson.

City officials are confident voters will choose to keep SPLOST V tomorrow. They agree its the best and fairest way to use taxpayer money and improve all of Lowndes county.