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Oconee County Could Vote on T-SPLOST Next Year

Oconee County probably will consider whether to pursue a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax after it completes an ongoing transportation study and might ask voters to approve such a tax next year, Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell said Tuesday night.

Daniell made his comment in response to a question posed at the first quarterly Board of Commissioners town hall meeting for 2018, held at the Community Center in Oconee Veterans Park.

Jeanne Barsanti of 1170 Oliver Bridge Road, in the south of the county, asked “what your feelings as commissioners are” about doing a local Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, now that Clarke County has passed its own T-SPLOST.

“I think that’s probably something we’ll look at next year,” Daniell said. “We have a transportation study going on right now. And we’re going to try to see some of the proposals that come out of that to improve some of our roadways.”

Daniell said the county has a lot of needs for roadway improvements, and T-SPLOST “very well may be something we ask you to approve next year.”

In the Nov. 7 election of last year, 73.9 percent of Clarke County voters approved an increase in the local sales tax by 1 percentage point, to a total of 8 percent, to support a mixture of roadways improvements, trails and sidewalk projects.

In 2012, as part of a 12-county regional vote, only 35.0 percent of Oconee County voters approved a similar regional transportation tax. At that time, 51.7 percent of Clarke County voters approved the tax, which failed because all of the other counties voted against the proposal. The overall vote was only 35.3 percent in favor.

The sales tax in Oconee County now is 7 percent.

For more on the town hall meeting, visit Oconee County Observations.