SPLOST revenues remain steady
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Revenues from the Morgan County Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), a penny sales tax voted on by local voters every five years, are holding steady, despite recent downturns in the national economy, say county and city officials.
“Sales taxes are holding their own right now—that could be because of [recent] very high fuel prices,” said Madison City Manager David Nunn.
“We’re up 4.17 percent over the same period last year,” he added. “That’s not bad.”
County finance officer Lynn Zachary echoed the city staff’s assessment.
“I was expecting to see [SPLOST revenues] take a big dip last month, but they didn’t,” she said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “That’s good news.”
Zachary says she is currently seeing anywhere from $300–$320 thousand per month come in as SPLOST revenues, which is shared by the county and its municipalities on a percentage basis. Madison’s share comes to anywhere from $23– $30 thousand monthly.
The money, which is collected and distributed by the state, does not give the county or municipalities any point-of-sale data, so local government cannot tell where the one-cent per dollar tariff is being spent, except to say that it is generated in Morgan County.
In the most recent SPLOST referendum, local voters approved revenues for the new jail, a new indoor swimming pool, and roads and bridges. City SPLOST revenues will also go for roads, as well as the city’s new municipal building and other capital projects.
“We used a good deal of the previous SPLOST, and some of the new SPLOST, for the new town park,” said Nunn. “But we can’t spend it until we get it.”