1¢ less tax: Fayette transportation SPLOST ends
You may not have noticed it, but starting April 1 you should be paying a little less in local stores.
The county’s transportation SPLOST expired March 31, shaving 1 percent off the local sales tax rate. That means consumers in Fayette County should be paying only 6 percent in sales tax on non-exempt purchases.
The tax may be gone, but it spawned at least one controversial project that still turns out protesters: The West Fayette Bypass.
The transportation SPLOST was approved in November 2004 to raise money for transportation improvements.
Through Feb. 28, the transportation SPLOST has raised $98.56 million. When the SPLOST was adopted, it was projected to raise up to $115.8 million, but that was before the economic downturn curtailed local spending.
According to the formula adopted for the transportation SPLOST, 70 percent of the collections are earmarked for countywide projects, and the remaining 30 percent is divided between Fayette’s cities and the unincorporated county.
Through Feb. 28, Peachtree City has received $9.73 million from the transportation SPLOST while the unincorporated county has received $14.1 million. Fayetteville has received $3.44 million, Tyrone has received $1.2 million and Brooks has received $171,721.
The “70 percent” for countywide projects has collected $69.89 million through Feb. 28.
Retailers and other vendors who collect and submit sales tax payments to the state should have been notified by the Georgia Department of Revenue about the termination of the 1 percent transportation SPLOST collections in Fayette County, officials said.
A proposal to extend the transportation SPLOST was rejected by Fayette voters in November 2009. That SPLOST focused heavily on eliminating debt service, largely on the county’s Justice Center, instead of transportation projects.
Fayette’s current 6 percent sales tax includes the 4 percent statewide sales tax, 1 percent for the county’s shared Local Option Sales Tax and 1 percent for the Educational SPLOST for which collection started April 1, 2009.