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Columbus City Council holds public hearings on SPLOST feedback

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 11:10 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Voters in Columbus will get an opportunity to decide how they want to spend additional tax dollars this fall. The choices will come from a list of projects chosen by the people of Columbus.

“Discussed is a $400 million special purpose local option sales tax. $200 million would be to replace the judicial center. All of the court functions. Various courts. $200M to replace that facility,” said Isaiah Hugley, city manager.

There’s expected to be a total of $400 million. Half of that money will be used to rebuild or renovate the existing government center and to build a new judicial center. A final decision has not been made on the exact future of the government center in Uptown Columbus.

“The one we’re in now, we’re hemorrhaging money. We’ve spent $8-9 million over the last three years and it creates some life safety issues for people who visit. We have 1,200 people a day, none employees coming in that building,” said Mayor Henderson. “This isn’t our list, this is a list of items that are of interest to the citizens.”

“Whether it be police, public safety, fire ems, sheriff’s office, and then there’s parks and recs. There’s roads and infrastructure, sidewalks,” explained Hugley.

“They will tell us what they want on there. They’ll tell us what kind of projects, what’s important to them from their neighborhood perspective for resurfacing roads and a lot of infrastructure, and kind of getting back to basics as well,” said Mayor Henderson.

“The collection of that sales tax would not start until April of 2022. The sales tax would be 9% for nine months,” said Hugley.

The sales tax would stay at 9%, but if most people are against it, the sales tax would drop back down to 8%.

In November of this year, citizens would vote on a list of special projects they’d want to see completed.

The next public hearing on the special purpose local option sales tax will be Thursday, June 17 in the Council Chambers at the Citizen Services Center.

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