Charlotte J. Nash, Chairman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
Gwinnett County will raise about $950 million over six years for capital improvements funded by the voter-approved SPLOST program that will start after the current one expires in March. All 157 precincts supported the proposed extension with 63 percent approval overall.
The County will continue to share proceeds with all 16 cities, as we’ve done for 15 years. The cities’ portion will be just over 21 percent of the funds collected.
We specified that 65 percent, or $468.3 million, of the County’s share will fund transportation improvements, including $30.3 million for joint city/county projects. Another $108.5 million will pay for recreation facilities, including $3.7 million for joint projects with cities; $67.3 million will expand the Infinite Energy Center; $52.4 million will go to public safety; $22.2 million will fund library relocations and renovations; and $11.2 million will go to senior service facilities.
A citizen’s project selection committee recommended how to allocate funding among 10 major transportation categories. That group is now studying and prioritizing specific projects within each category. You can follow their progress online at GwinnettSPLOST.com.
SPLOST collects a penny tax on every dollar spent on most retail purchases in Gwinnett, so visitors also contribute to infrastructure and quality of life improvements. Gwinnett voters have approved all but one in a series of successive SPLOST programs since 1985. Together, they’ve raised more than $3 billion for new facilities on a pay-as-you-go basis, saving about a billion dollars in financing costs.
SPLOST results are all around us. Imagine how Gwinnett County would look without the roads, parks, community recreation centers, aquatics facilities, police precincts, fire stations, justice and administration center, civic center, and libraries that sales tax dollars built?
We follow the same budgeting process with each SPLOST program, allocating only 90 percent of estimated collections. This conservative approach keeps us from starting projects we can’t finish. And we take pride in delivering on our promises.
I don’t know how else we could have improved the quality of life in Gwinnett County without SPLOST funding. So I’m very grateful to the state legislature for providing this option in the 1980s and to the voters of Gwinnett for your continued support and approval.
On a personal note, thank you for re-electing me as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for four more years. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve you and to lead this great county.