What is TSPLOST?
A Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is a sales tax used to fund capital outlay projects proposed by county and municipal governments. A Transportation SPLOST (TSPLOST) is a sales tax meant to meet transportation-related capital projects.
What is a Single County TSPLOST?
A Single County TSPLOST is a transportation specific sales tax in which the proceeds must be spent on eligible projects that are entirely within the county boundary, including municipalities.
What sales tax is currently being collected in Coweta County?
Sales tax in Coweta County is currently 7%. This consists of: 4% State tax, 1% Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), 1% Education SPLOST, and 1% SPLOST.
Is this a new tax?
Yes. If approved, this tax would increase the sales tax in Coweta County from 7% to 8%.
Why is a TSPLOST being considered?
Transportation is a top priority for all local government entities within Coweta County. As a result of continuous population growth, development activity, and additional demand on the existing transportation system, it is necessary to create another revenue stream to provide additional funding for transportation projects to improve or maintain existing service levels.
How much money will be collected with TSPLOST?
A 1% TSPLOST is projected to produce $125 million during a 5-year levy.
When will TSPLOST be collected?
Collections begin on the first day of the calendar quarter following an 80-day period after the vote. For example, if a referendum is approved in November, collections would begin on April 1 of the following year.
How can TSPLOST funds be spent?
TSPLOST funds can only be spent on “transportation purposes”. O.C.G.A 48-8-260(5) defines “transportation purposes” as follows:
(5) ‘Transportation purposes' means and includes roads, bridges, public transit, rails, airports, buses, seaports, including without limitation road, street, and bridge purposes pursuant to (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-121
Code Section 48-8-121(b)(1):
If the resolution or ordinance calling for the imposition of the tax specified that the proceeds of the tax are to be used in whole or in part for capital outlay projects
consisting of road, street, and bridge purposes, then authorized uses of the tax proceeds shall include:
(A) Acquisition of rights of way for roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths;
(B) Construction of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths;
(C) Renovation and improvement of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths,
(D) Relocation of utilities for roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths;
(E) Improvement of surface-water drainage from roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and
bicycle paths; and
(F) Patching, leveling, milling, widening, shoulder preparation, culvert repair, and other
repairs necessary for the preservation of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle
(2) Storm-water capital outlay projects and drainage capital outlay projects may be funded pursuant to subparagraph (a)(1)(D) of Code Section 48-8-111 or in conjunction with road, street, and bridge capital outlay projects.
How long can TSPLOST be levied?
The TSPLOST sales tax ceases to be imposed on the earliest of the following dates:
On the final day of the maximum period of time (5 years); or
The end of the calendar quarter that the state revenue commissioner determines that the tax will have raised revenues sufficient to provide funds specified as the maximum amount of funds to be raised by the tax.
Who pays the sales tax?
Sales tax is paid by anyone who purchases goods or services from a retail business in Coweta County. This includes citizens and guests.
How are TSPLOST proceeds distributed?
In order for the tax rate to be in excess of 0.75%, an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) must be executed by the County and Qualified Municipalities (see FAQ #12 below for further information). If an IGA is executed, the tax rate can be up to 1%. The proceeds are then distributed in accordance with the executed IGA. All cities and towns in Coweta County are considered Qualified Municipalities in accordance with the Department of Revenue.
What is a Qualified Municipality?
To be eligible for SPLOST proceeds, a city must be a “qualified municipality.” A qualified municipality is defined in Single County TSPLOST as having the same meaning as regular SPLOST under O.C.G.A. § 48-8- 110(4). A municipality must provide at least three services out of a list of 12 services to be “qualified.” In addition to services provided directly by a municipality, services provided by contract count as services provided for purposes of qualification. The 12 services on the list are: A. Law enforcement; B. Fire protection and fire safety; C. Road and street construction or maintenance; D. Solid waste management; E. Water supply or distribution or both; F. Waste-water treatment; G. Storm-water collection or disposal; H. Electric or gas utility services; I. Enforcement of building, housing, plumbing, and electrical codes and other similar codes; J. Planning and zoning; K. Recreational facilities; and L. Library
Will a specific list of projects be provided for voters to see prior to the vote or be included in the referendum?
Yes. The Joint Transportation Coordinating Committee (JTCC) hosted multiple public meetings to garner input prior to the referendum. Once scheduled, the public meetings will be advertised on the TSPLOST website (cowetatsplost.com) and listed in the local newspaper.
Does the law address the project select process?
No. The law allows flexibility in project selection for eligible transportation purposes (see FAQ #8).
Are there items exempted from TSPLOST?
In accordance with O.C.G.A 48-8-269, regular SPLOST exemptions apply to TSPLOST, plus these six (6) items:
1) The sale or use of any type of fuel used for off-road heavy-duty equipment, off-road farm or agricultural equipment, or locomotives;
2) The sale or use of jet fuel to or by a qualifying airline at a qualifying airport;
3) The sale or use of fuel that is used for propulsion of motor vehicles on the public highways;
4) The sale or use of energy used in the manufacturing or processing of tangible goods primarily for resale;
5) The sale or use of motor fuel as defined under paragraph (9) of Code Section 48-9-2 for public mass transit; or
6) The purchase or lease of any motor vehicle pursuant to Code Section 48-5C-1.
Will all of the TSPLOST collections be spent on actual projects?
Nearly all collections will be used to fund projects, including design/engineering, right-of-way acquisition, and construction. The law does require that 1% of collections be retained by the state revenue commissioner to be paid to the general fund of the state treasury in order to defray the cost of administration.
Will TSPLOST affect SPLOST projects?
If approved, TSPLOST projects and associated proceeds will not change or impact existing SPLOST projects.
Can the TSPLOST be renewed at the end of the five (5) year period?
Yes. The sales tax can be renewed by another referendum. This process can occur while the current tax is still being collected. (See O.C.G.A 48-9-269(c) and O.C.G.A 48-8-269.997(c))
Will TSPLOST raise property taxes?
No. TSPLOST is a sales tax, it does not impact real property, personal property, or ad valorem taxes.