Whether you believe any extra tax in the current economy is too much, or that a special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST, is the way to fund current needs, the issue has spawned debate across Cobb County.
If passed March 15, the SPLOST is expected to generate $492 million for parks, recreation, public safety, libraries, senior centers and transportation projects for the county and Cobb’s six cities.
The special four-year tax would begin Jan. 1, 2012, just as the current one ends.
Proponents say SPLOST would insure that Cobb County continues to be competitive when seeking businesses to locate in the area.
It will keep millage rates low and improve infrastructure. They also say that 30 percent of the penny tax would be paid for by visitors to the county.
Supporters point to the many facilities that have been paid for by previous SPLOSTs, including road widenings, bridges, expansions of the county jail and the new courthouse just off of the Marietta Square.
If the SPLOST was to fail on March 15, the county would incur debt and it could threaten the county’s Triple A bond rating, said Rose Wing, a retired attorney who heads Citizens for Cobb’s Future.
The group organized more than five years ago to promote the 2005 special sales tax. That SPLOST, which expires Dec. 31, passed by 114 votes.
On the other side of the SPLOST issue are organizations including the Cobb County Taxpayers Association and the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, working to defeat the extension.
Opponents say the list of projects is more of a “want” list than a “need” list. The county needs to take a more conservative look at the current budget and see what can be cut, said Lance Lamberton, president of the Taxpayers Association.
In the down economy, county commissioners need to be thinking more about cutting taxes than adding more, Lamberton said.
Below is a list of projects planned for Acworth if the SPLOST passes.
- Blue Springs Road, Roadway Improvements from Main Street to Cobb Parkway/ US 41/SR3, cost is $1.1 million.
- Southside Drive, Roadway Improvements from Taylor Street to Carruth Street, cost is $975,000.
- McClain Circle, Roadway Improvements costing $425,000.
- Taylor Street, Roadway Improvements from Cherokee Street to Southside Drive, cost is $900,000.
- Downtown Parking Improvements costing $725,000.
- RR Improvements/Silent Crossings costing $1,490,000.
- Resurfacing and misc. Paving Citywide with a cost of $853,141.
- Drainage & Stormwater Improvements costing $500,000.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle/Misc Sidewalks citywide at a cost of $175,000.
- SR 92 Sidewalks, Add sidewalks from Cowan Road to Cherokee Streetat a cost of $175,000.
- Street Signage, Street signage to meet MUTCD Requirements Citywide at a cost of
Resurfacing, Purchase Paving Equipment, Citywide at a cost of $60,000.
Transportation Projects Total Estimated Cost
- Acworth Sports Complex at a cost of $295,000.
- Cauble Park, Renovate Playground and Bathrooms; Replace Pavilions at a cost of $200,000.
- Newberry Park, Parking Improvements, Lighting Improvements, Bleacher Renovation, Restrooms/Concession, Field Renovation, cost is $200,000.
- Logan Farm Park, Restrooms, Skate Park, Playground, Parking, General Site Work, and Durr Field Renovations. Cost is $475,000.
Parks Projects Total Estimated Cost is $1,17 million.
Police Dept. Headquarters
- Construction of new Police Dept. Headquarters on existing City land, next to City court and City jail at a cost of $4.75 million.
City of Acworth Projects Total Estimated Cost