The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government has launched the process to solicit projects for consideration as part of a potential Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) 2020 program. SPLOST allows communities to use sales tax revenues to fund capital improvement projects that would otherwise be paid for using General Fund and property tax revenues or that would not be undertaken.
The SPLOST 2020 program referendum will be voted on as part of the November 5, 2019 General Election by Athens-Clarke County citizens. If approved, tax collection will begin on April 1, 2020. The total sales tax in Athens-Clarke County would not increase as a result of this program, but would continue at 8%, since the current SPLOST 2011 program collection of $195 million is expected to end in 2020.
The project request form is available online at www.accgov.com/splost2020 through November 11, 2018. Forms will only be accepted online. Forms can be partially completed and saved online for up to 30 days with the ability to share the saved link. This allows multiple individuals or organizations to work on specific parts of the forms.
Project requests submitted will initially be considered by the SPLOST 2020 Citizens Advisory Committee. The Citizens Advisory Committee is a group of 22 individuals who have been appointed by the Mayor and Commission and are responsible for recommending a list of candidate projects for SPLOST 2020 for consideration by the Mayor and Commission. The Mayor and Commission will approve a final list of projects for the SPLOST 2020 program voter referendum.
The project request deadline is Sunday, November 11, 2018. A live webinar with SPLOST Program Management staff will take place on Thursday, October 4 from noon to 1:00 p.m. to provide assistance with completing the forms. This webinar can be accessed through www.accgov.com/splost2020 and will also be recorded and placed on the SPLOST 2020 website for on-demand viewing afterwards.
Project submission requires detailed information, especially about cost projections. Example forms not for submission are available in Microsoft Word and PDF formats online that provide useful information about the form process and the information needed to complete the forms. Individuals or organizations interested in submitting a project should work with an organization or agency familiar with the type of project being submitted and should contact the appropriate Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGOV) department ahead of time to discuss the project. If approved, projects will be implemented and maintained by the appropriate ACCGOV department.
After the project submission form deadline, project requests will be reviewed by staff to verify cost estimates, comprehensiveness of information provided, and project details. Individuals, organizations, and departments submitting project requests may be asked for additional information during this review process. Those proposing projects will also have the opportunity to present the project(s) to the SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee in January, February, and March of 2019. The Citizens Advisory Committee will review all project requests and submit a list of candidate projects to the Mayor and Commission by May 6, 2019. The Mayor and Commission may accept or change the list of candidate projects and will propose a final list of projects to be included on the voter referendum by August 2019 for the November 2019 vote.
For more information about SPLOST 2020 and the project submission process, visit www.accgov.com/splost2020. For more information about current and past SPLOST projects, visit www.accgov.com/splost.