Cherokee County BOC Considering Sales Tax for 2024 Referendum

Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, November 7th Work Session

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners are considering proposing a new sales tax to voters in 2024. They are deciding whether to propose a Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) to reduce property taxes or a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) to fund transportation projects. In their November 7th meeting, the Board removed a Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) from further consideration.

The HOST, a 1% sales tax, could raise the county’s sales tax rate from 6% to 7%, funding 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. The HOST would be permanently in place until removed by voter referendum.

T-SPLOST, as considered by the Board, could be either 0.5% or 1% and would be active for a five year period (subject to voter approval for extension). According to the county, a 1% T-SPLOST, assuming the same growth rate and distribution as the 2024 SPLOST, would generate $438,246,198 in sales tax revenue over six years. Eligible transportation projects include renovations, improvements, and construction of roads, transit, pedestrian mobility, bridges, and utilities. The TSPLOST would also accelerate projects like the Ball Ground Bypass and future HWY140 widening, among others.

Further discussions are expected this year and Chairman Johnston hopes for a decision by January 1st of 2024.

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