Sinyard: Penny Sales tax projects are a bargain - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sinyard: Penny Sales tax projects are a bargain

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Pay now or pay later. Albany's Mayor and the Dougherty County commission Chairman say if voters don't approve a penny sales tax extension, they'll end up paying more in property taxes. 

A SPLOST six referendum is on the November ballot.  If voters approve it, the tax is expected to generate $98 Million over the next six years. Supporters say many of the projects that money will pay for are necessary.

So if voters don't approve the one percent tax taxpayers will pay in other ways. 

Mayor Willie Adams and Chairman Jeff Sinyard sat side by side detailing city and county projects that the SPLOST collection would benefit. While they didn't outright ask that people vote to approve the measure, they did emphasize how beneficial the sales tax can be.

You can see how sales tax dollars have been used to support projects all over Albany. Even the roads you drive on have been improved by the penny sales tax.

"To continue that penny has so much significance on this community and the future of the community," said County Commission Chair Jeff Sinyard.

And that's why Sinyard and Mayor Willie Adams held a press conference to let people know what types of projects are on the ballot for your approval, and just how important that sales tax is for Albany and Dougherty County.

"To not have the penny available has some very detrimental consequences to our future," said Sinyard. The Mayor says people shouldn't think of the tax, which would help build a new terminal at the airport, improve storm drainage and complete road repairs as a new tax, simply a continuation of what's already in place. "This is not a new tax," said Adams.

"This is not a new penny. We're asking to continue what we got going." Adams says he understands people are sick of being taxed and that they are angry at government, but he hopes that won't govern their decisions. 

"I don't make any important decisions while I'm angry because nine out of 10 times, you'll make the wrong decision." And he says if people don't approve the sales tax which will pull in close to $100 million, that doesn't mean they won't have to pay for the projects.

"If we don't get it from people outside, even though the word tax is repulsive, if we don't get this money from people outside, guess where it has to come from? We're going to have to get it from the taxpayers."

But if this tax is to be approved, it will have to take place at the voting booth.

The majority of projects on the ballot to be approved by voters are considered infrastructure, public safety, economic development or education and health.

About 40% of the funds are expected to be generated by visitors spending money in Dougherty County. There are dozens of projects listed for the city and county.

We've placed a summary of projects HERE.

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