local option

Special-purpose local-option sales tax

In the U.S. state of Georgia, a special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) can be levied by any county, for the purpose of funding the building and maintenance of parks, schools, roads, and other public facilities. Georgia's state sales tax is currently 4% (groceries and prescription drugs exempted), with the counties allowed to add up to 2% more for SPLOST. A SPLOST is passed by a county commission and voted up or down by residents in a referendum, usually during the next scheduled election. A SPLOST only lasts five years. At that time, if the funds are still needed, it must be voted upon again. All expenditures of SPLOST funds must be in compliance with Article VIII, Section VI, Paragraph IV of the Georgia Constitution and Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 48-8-141.

  • One SPLOST (1%) may be used to increase the homestead exemption for property taxes.
  • A SPLOST is not required to exempt groceries, but still cannot be applied to prescriptions.
  • Cities are normally not allowed to levy sales taxes, they instead share proportionately with their county.
  • Since 2004, Atlanta charges a city sales tax of 1% to separate and repair its old sewers and storm drains.
  • Like the sewer tax, the MARTA sales tax is separate and not considered a SPLOST.

Counties and school systems are required to provide an independent accountants' report, examining the way the funds were allocated and attesting to the fact that the system receiving funds managed those funds appropriately.

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