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What is SPLOST? The unpopularity of property taxes and the simplicity and perceived fairness of sales taxes have made the County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax a popular method to finance needed capital projects. A SPLOST is an optional 1% sales tax used to fund capital outlay projects proposed by the county government and participating qualified municipal governments.
The tax is imposed when the board of commissioners calls a vote and the vote is subsequently passed by the voters within that county. The tax is collected on items subject to the sales and use tax within the county. The tax is also imposed on the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages, which are not subject to the state sales tax, and is also imposed on the sale of alcoholic beverages. (Ref. accg.org).
The proposed 2021 SPLOST will collect $68,500,000.
Take action. Have your voice heard. Make your plan to vote by March 16th!
Some of our concerns with the proposed 2021 SPLOST:
Unemployment in Glynn County as of December 2020 (5.7%) is still nearly twice as high as the unemployment rate in December 2019 (2.8%). Glynn County Commission should hold off on collecting fees from residents as our community continues to experience financial hardships created by COVID-19.
2016 SPLOST has about 16 to 18 projects left uncompleted (approx. $16 million unspent), many of which have not even been bid for construction. In order to maintain accountability in our government and reinforce that SPLOST projects should be completed in a timely and efficient manner, Glynn County citizens should vote NO to ensure no additional collections of taxpayer monies until previous projects are completed.
SPLOST 2021 threatens to encroach on Twitty Park, Saint Simons Island’s 97-year-old public park gifted to Glynn County citizens by T.L. Cain in 1924. This would violate Judge Stephen Kelley’s Order that requires the County to hold Twitty Park in trust for the use and benefit of the citizens and visitors of Glynn County.
SPLOST is a great way to generate the needed funds for coastal resiliency projects, however, the project list doesn’t include any coastal resiliency projects that could help protect our citizens when faced with the dangers and challenges posed by climate change.
Myth: 50% of SPLOST tax being paid by visitors. Fact: The County, nor any independent studies, have ever provided documentation that this is true.
Sales tax collection for SPLOST shows minimal variation on a monthly basis (compared to revenue from 5% hotel bed tax which fluctuates seasonally). This indicates that tourists have little impact on tax collection.
Last year when tourism dropped off significantly due to the pandemic/local shut down, there was only a 25% decrease in SPLOST collections, indicating that tourists only account for about 25% of tax collections.
Consider how many visitors to Glynn County purchase big-ticket items like automobiles or appliances, compared to everyday residents.
More funding is needed for the City of Brunswick for critical stormwater infrastructure projects. Neighborhood-specific stormwater improvements have not been itemized on 2021 SPLOST as they were in 2016. Two roundabouts on Saint Simons Island total a proposed $11 million, marginally higher than the total amount of funds dedicated to the entire City of Brunswick (~$13 million). This is inequitable and we believe this showcases that this proposed project list does not equitably place funds where they are most needed.
Last Updated February 22, 2021
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