On November 5th, Gwinnett County will ask voters to decide whether or not they want to extend SPLOST. This Special-Purpose-Local-Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is an optional 1% sales tax levied by a county to fund projects like parks, libraries and roads. Georgia’s state sales tax is 4%, with an additional 1% tacked on in Gwinnett County to fund education (ESPLOST) and another 1% currently levied for SPLOST. This is divided between Gwinnett cities and the County itself (for use in unincorporated areas.)
In the past, the City of Norcross has used its SPLOST funds for projects like renovating Lillian Webb, Thrasher, Rossie Brundage, Heritage and Betty Mauldin parks. The Community Center was purchased and renovated using SPLOST funds, as was Norcross’ Public Works facility located on Lively Street. SPLOST funds were used to match grants that paid for downtown streetscapes and Skin Alley’s recent makeover, and in 2012 SPLOST funded milling and resurfacing over 15 miles of City roads.
If Gwinnett’s voters elect to extend SPLOST another 3 years, City officials propose using Norcross’ portion to purchase the existing public library on Buford Highway and relieve City Hall’s increasing space challenges by relocating the Norcross Police Department into that building. Working with the County and Gwinnett Library Board, officials envision then building a new library by Lillian Webb Park, a project that could be paid for with SPLOST.
“If the vote passes, the City could collect as much as $7.8million,” explains Norcross City Manager Rudolph Smith. “That’d be divided among 4 categories, with administration buildings getting 17.5%, 60% for transportation-related projects - including new sidewalks – 7.5% goes into parks and recreation. Downtown parking projects would be allocated 15%.”
For a more complete list of SPLOST projects at both the City and County levels and breakdown of projected fund allocations, visit Gwinnett County's website or contact Norcross' Community Development Department at 678.421.2027.