CLARKESVILLE — Habersham County voters will get a chance in November to decide whether they want the county to collect a 1-cent tax for roads and bridges projects in the county and each of its cities.
During a called meeting Monday night, the Habersham County Commission voted unanimously to adopt a resolution authorizing and approving an intergovernmental agreement with each of the seven municipalities in the county for distribution of a 1-percent sales and use tax for transportation capital outlay projects within the county and its cities.
Officials of Alto, Baldwin, Clarkesville, Cornelia, Demorest, Mt. Airy and Tallulah Falls already had adopted the required intergovernmental agreements.
“Tonight, we approved an acceptance of an intergovernmental agreement and all seven of the municipalities within the county for a distribution methodology should the voters approve the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for repair of roads and bridges and transportation services,” Commission Chairman Victor Anderson told AccessWDUN. “With that, once we approved the IGA with those municipalities, we also issued the call to have that placed on the ballot of the November election.”
If approved by voters, the single-county transportation sales tax would begin April 1, 2019, and conclude collections on March 31, 2024, raising some $35,567,472 for the purpose of funding transportation projects.
Under the formula in the IGA, if fully collected the distribution would be as follows:
- Habersham County — $27,127,827;
- Town of Alto — $447,177;
- City of Baldwin — $1,358,499;
- City of Clarkesville — $1,143,612;
- City of Cornelia — $3,087,055;
- City of Demorest — $1,351,826;
- Town of Mt. Airy — $929,589; and
- Town of Tallulah Falls — $121,887.
“Should the voters approve this, it also will give Habersham County a funding method to improve our road paving schedule, our maintenance schedule in just about every aspect of our transportation,” Anderson said. “It also provides a mechanism to pay for those items through sales tax, which is about 25-30 percent from people outside the county. In other words, county residents, while it is a shift of tax within the county, it also allows the residents to get $1 worth of services for about 70 cents.”