City Will Look At Later Rather Than Sooner On Next SPLOST Vote

Neighbors Shutout As Commission Approves Tobacco Road Liquor Store License (Image 1)

When it comes to the next phase of the sales tax, Augusta leaders don’t want to take no for the answer again.

“We need to take out time and make sure we’ve had community input SPLOST 7 is very important and we don’t want to rush it through,” says Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

Voters rejected the SPLOST package last year, with some objecting to money going to the mills project for GRU.

But those involved say it wasn’t the projects that defeated SPLOST it was the lack of information.

“The people felt they didn’t have enough time to review those things, we tried to get the word out I think a better job could have been done,” says Matt Kwatinetz of the Augusta Regional Collaboration Project.

So the city will try again, with finance officials preparing for the next available election date in November.

“There are deadlines so what we’ve done in this proposal is work backwards from a November third election date,” says Tim Schroer, the Assistant Finance Director.

But some commissioners don’t want to go back before voters as early as this November.  

“I don’t think that’s out best move so we have a lot of discussions to do with that maybe we have a year to start informing the public and putting together a good package,” says Commissioner Mary Davis.

The next date after November commissioners could approve is March 2016

With the storm water fee coming is that part of the reason you would want to push this from November to March?”

 “Well in a way one has nothing to do with the other but in a way it does, says Fennoy.

The Finance Committee did not want hear the SPLOST vote time line this afternoon, so neither a November or March date was discussed,

But if commissioners do wait until next March, there sales tax dollar collections would not start until the following July.

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