Frequently Asked Questions Regarding TSPLOST
What is a TSPLOST?
TSPLOST stands for Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. TSPLOST is a sales tax where the capital outlays are intended for TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES ONLY.
When can the tax be implemented?
If the referendum vote passes on November 7, 2017, collection will start on April 1, 2018.
Is there a maximum tax rate?
Single County TSPLOST can be levied up to 5 years at a fractional rate up to 1 percent in .05 percent increments if there is an intergovernmental agreement with qualified cities within the County. If there is no ntergovernmental agreement in place, the tax can be levied up to .75 percent. Spalding County and the City of Griffin have entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement to divide the proceeds: Spalding County will receive 66.50 percent and the City of Griffin will receive 33.50 percent.
How much money will be raised with a TSPLOST?
Assuming a maximum rate of 1.0% is leveraged for five years, it is projected that Spalding County will generate approximately $42 million from April 2018 to March 2023.
How Long Will the TSPLOST last?
20 Calendar quarters (5 years).
How does a referendum get called?
The Spalding County Board of Commissioners must approve a list of projects for inclusion in the referendum and the rate of the tax. The referendum will then be signed by the Spalding County Board of Commissioners, if approved by the Board.
The referendum would take place on November 7, 2017. The referendum is submitted to the Election Supervisor and includes the following.
- Specific Transportation purposes to be funded
- – Approximate cost of the transportation purposes
- – Maximum amount of net proceeds to be raised by the tax
- – Maximum amount of calendar years
- – Rate of tax
- – A list of projects and purposes
How can the money be spent?
Funds can only be spent on transportation purposes, which is defined in O.C.G.A. Section 48-8-260(5) which states:
“Transportation purposes means and includes roads, bridges, public transit, rails, airports, buses, seaports, including without limitation road, street, and bridge purposes pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-121, and all accompanying infrastructure and services necessary to provide access to these transportation facilities, including new general obligation debt and other multiyear obligations issued to finance such purposes. Such purposes shall also include the retirement of previously incurred general obligation debt with respect only to such purposes, but only if an intergovernmental agreement has been entered into under this article. Code Section 48-8-121(b)(1) If the resolution or ordinance calling for the imposition of the tax specified that the proceeds of the tax are to be used in whole or part for capital outlay projects consisting of road, street, and bridge purposes, then authorized uses of the tax proceeds shall include: (A) Acquisition of rights of way for roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths; (B) Construction of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths; (C) Renovation and improvement of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths, including resurfacing; (D) Relocation of utilities for roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths; (E) Improvement of surface water drainage from roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths; and (F) Patching, leveling, milling, widening, shoulder preparation, culvert repair, and other repairs necessary for the preservation of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths. (2) Stormwater capital outlay projects and drainage capital outlay projects may be funded pursuant to subparagraph (a)(1)(D) of Code Section 48-8-111 or in conjunction with road, street, and bridge capital outlay.”
Does the law address the project selection process?
No. There is a lot of flexibility given in project selection. Each jurisdiction will create a list of proposed projects based upon their specific transportation needs.
What could the ballot question look like in Spalding County?
“Shall a special one percent sales and use tax be imposed in the special district consisting of Spalding County for a period of time not to exceed 20 calendar quarters and for the raising of an estimated amount of
$42,000,000 for transportation purposes? If imposition of the tax is approved by the voters in the special district consisting of the County, such vote shall also constitute approval of the issuance of general obligation debt of Spalding County in the principal amount of not to exceed $8,000,000 for the purposes described above and the costs of issuance of such debt. If imposition of the tax is approved by the voters in the special district consisting of Spalding County and also by the voters in the City of Griffin, such vote shall also constitute approval of the issuance of general obligation debt of the City of Griffin in the principal amount of not to exceed $6,000,000 for the purposes described above and the costs of issuance of such debt.”
What are the relevant deadlines for the TSPLOST?
– August 7, 2017 the Spalding County Board of Commissioners authorized the referendum and forwarded it to the Spalding county Election Supervisor for a November 7, 2017 referendum