Cherokee HOST Referendum Not Moving Forward

Published 03/11/2024

Cherokee County voters won’t find the Homestead Local Option Sales Tax (HOST) referendum on this fall’s ballot. During a recent Cherokee Legislative Delegation meeting, a motion to present the local legislation in the current General Assembly lacked a second.

State Rep. Brad Thomas acknowledged the county commissioners’ efforts but highlighted the HOST’s perpetual nature without renewal. Many delegation members expressed a desire to study the HOST further and possibly address it next year.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners had proposed a 1% HOST to offset property taxes and fund road improvements. Despite support in town hall meetings, some delegation members opposed a 1% sales tax on items like groceries and pharmaceuticals.

However, the delegation did approve an increase in the hotel/motel excise tax from 6% to 8% for unincorporated Cherokee County. This move aligns with other jurisdictions and is expected to generate an additional $200,000 annually, supporting various local organizations and projects.

See below for further details on what was previously proposed.

Cherokee BOC Approves State Legislative Delegation to Call for HOST Referendum

Published 02/09/2024

On February 6th, 2024, the Cherokee Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution requesting that the local legislative delegation call for and authorize a Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) referendum. After public meetings in January, the HOST was chosen over LOST and SPLOST alternatives.

The November 7th BOC meeting explained how the HOST, a 1% sales tax, would raise the county’s sales tax rate from 6% to 7% to fund a decrease in residents’ property taxes. If HOST is implemented, 80% of the revenue must be used to roll back property taxes, potentially reducing the county’s property tax collection by $50.6 million. The remaining 20% ($12.6 million) could be allocated for capital projects, which the BOC defined this week as transportation improvements. The HOST would be permanently in place until removed by voter referendum.

An increase in the hotel/motel max (from 6% to 8%) was also unanimously approved in the February 6th BOC meeting. The additional $200,000 must go towards tourism in the County, funding facilities like Cherokee’s Office of Economic Development, Chamber, Conference Center, beautification projects, and parks & rec.

Live stream (43-46 minute mark for these two sections):


Cherokee County BOC Considering Sales Tax for 2024 Referendum

Published 01/05/2024

The Cherokee Board of Commissioners is seeking the public’s thoughts on the possible implementation of an additional sales tax to either offset property taxes or heavily fund transportation projects. The Board is mulling a Local Option Sales Tax, Homestead Option Sales Tax or a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and will host six town hall meetings this month to receive public feedback.

The first town hall was held on Monday, Jan. 8, from 7-8 p.m. in Cherokee Hall at the Cherokee County Administration Building, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton.

Other town halls are set for:

  • Jan. 10, 7-8 p.m., Recreation Center, 7545 Main St., Suite 200, Woodstock;
  • Jan. 15, 7-8 p.m., Historic Hickory Flat Gym, 4835 Hickory Road, Canton
  • Jan. 16, 2-2:45 p.m., Cherokee County Admin Complex, Cherokee Hall, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton
  • Jan. 17, 7-8 p.m., BridgeMill Fire Station Community Room, 9550 Bells Ferry Road, Canton (limited parking).
  • Jan. 22, 7-8 p.m., Oak Grove Fire Station Community Room, 100 Ridgemill Ct., Acworth
  • Jan. 23, 7-8 p.m., Victory Hall at the L.B. Ahrens Recreation Center, 7345 Cumming Hwy., Canton

The town hall meetings are intended to explain the three options and how each works, as well as gauge the public’s wishes on how to proceed forward. Cherokee County is one of three counties in Georgia that does not have an additional sales tax to help offset property tax/general fund expenditures. Cobb and Gwinnett counties are the other two.

For those who were unable to attend, a recording of the town hall meeting from Jan. 16 can be viewed here.

Before January 25th, please e-mail your preference of how you would like the BOC to proceed by e-mailing In the subject line, write Sales Tax. In the body of the email, please list one of the following four options: 1. HOST 2. LOST 3. T-SPLOST 4. Do Nothing. The Board intends to make a decision on how to proceed at its annual planning retreat Jan. 25-26.