Columbus voters will vote on two sales taxes in 2020

Columbus voters will vote on two sales taxes in 2020

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Consumers in Muscogee County could possibly see a nine percent sales tax come January 2021, if voters approve two items headed to the ballots in 2020.

Both a special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST, to help fund the government center project and an education special purpose local option sales tax for the Muscogee County School District will be on ballots in 2020.

Right now, sales tax in Muscogee County is eight percent, or eight pennies per dollar.

Four cents of that sales tax goes to the state, two cents are for local option sales taxes that have been in place for a number of years, plus a transportation SPLOST and an education SPLOST.

In 2020, both the city and the school district will be asking voters to decide on two taxes. If both are approved, you will see an increase in sales tax, leading to you paying nine percent.

“We need our civic buildings," Pat Hugley-Green, chairwoman for the Muscogee County School Board said, "like we need our school buildings.”

An education SPLOST will help “build new schools, do major renovations, buy buses, equip every single classroom with technology,” Hugley-Green said.

Both Hugley-Green and Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson agree both taxes would be beneficial to the community.

“Because of our critical needs," Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said, "we really don’t have any choice but to ask the taxpayers how they prefer we pay for it, so with the school district going out in March, with us going out in November, there is a possibility that we could be a nine cent sales tax at least until January 2023, so you’re looking at about a year and a half.”

In January 2023, the transportation SPLOST is expected to roll off, if voters at the regional level do not vote to renew the tax bringing sales tax in Muscogee County back down to eight percent, if the other two are approved.

The next steps for both the city and the school district are to solicit input from residents in the community about their thoughts as well as ideas on projects for the city and the schools.

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