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HAPPENING TODAY: SPLOST election in Muscogee County

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 7:17 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Voters are preparing to make a big decision at the polls. They will either vote yes or no on a special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST. Taxpayers are voting on if they want to add a penny to the sales tax for 9 months.

Officials tell News Leader 9 the idea is that this extra penny will help foot the bill for some major renovations around town for a total cost of $400,000,000. Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said about 1500 people have taken advantage of early voting so far.

“It’s been kind of a low turn out. I think last week, there had been about 1500 early voters and I think about 500 absentee ballots had been requested. It’s going to be a low turn out I’m afraid,” said Henderson. “The whole idea of a SPLOST is to put the power where it belongs and that’s in the hands of the people. The whole idea of a SPLOST is to put the power where it belongs and that’s in the hands of the people. This is going to be back to basics. The citizens were clear. We’re going to be doing road resurfacing, public safety investments, we’re going to do economic development, we’ve got parks and recreation being taken care of, so we’re trying to take care of all the things our constituents say they want to see us take care of.”

The big ticket item, if voters check yes to the SPLOST, would be a new judicial building. It would cost about $200,000,000 and replace the aging Columbus Government Center that houses courts, offices for judges, sheriffs, district attorneys and public defenders. If the SPLOST passes, the sales tax will go from 8% to 9% for 9 months. After 9 months, the sales tax will go back to 8% unless citizens decide to support TSPLOST in 2022. If citizens vote “Yes” to TSPLOST in 2022, the sales tax will continue at 9%.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 pm. today. To find your voting precinct, click here.

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