PTC Council debates sales tax for roads, paths

A proposed countywide special sales tax, up for a vote in November, would provide $12.8 million to Peachtree City over a two-year period.

The city is almost certain to earmark much if not all of those proceeds toward road and cart path projects, as the city has no other plan to fund them. Such projects used to be paid for out of the city’s general fund, but that process stopped in 2005 when the transportation sales tax money started coming in.

If for some reason the countywide sales tax is shot down by voters, the city will have to devise another way to fund the necessary road and cart path repairs.

At the May 9 city council meeting, Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch questioned if Peachtree City should be getting more of the proceeds from the proposed sales tax because stores in the city generate more of the sales tax compared to the unincorporated county.

Councilman George Dienhart said that compared to the previous sales tax the city “is in a much more favorable position this time.”

Fleisch noted that city residents are already paying for stormwater repairs in the city, and some residents might consider county sales tax proceeds for stormwater repairs in unincorporated Fayette County double taxation.

“We need to be cognizant when that goes on the ballot, it’s another aspect of this for full disclosure to our citizens,” Fleisch said.

“They also need to know that some of the revenue will come from outside of our borders ... and we do not have a plan B to replace this money,” Dienhart added.

Councilman Eric Imker noted that to raise $12.8 million over two years, the city would need to enact a 3.76 mill increase on taxpayers which would cost the average homeowner $368 a year. Meanwhile each household would contribute about half that in sales tax money over the same period, Imker said.

Imker said it is a worthwhile exercise to see if the city can gain a financial upper hand by paying off some debts early, and he also noted that the city could fix all its worst streets and cart paths with the sales tax proceeds.

Mayor Don Haddix has advocated paying off long-term debt early, which would make room in the budget for the approximately $1.5 million needed each year for road and cart path improvements and repairs.

Mike King
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Joined: 11/29/2006
SPLOST? Not Likely

"Councilman Eric Imker noted that to raise $12.8 million over two years, the city would need to enact a 3.76 mill increase on taxpayers which would cost the average homeowner $368 a year. Meanwhile each household would contribute about half that in sales tax money over the same period, Imker said."

Well, perhaps so, but the likelihood of the SPLOST passing is not very good given the track record of such here in Fayette. Allow me to offer yet another solution: Cut $12.8 million over the next FIVE years from the city's departmental budgets and allocating those funds for road and cart path repair that should have been included in existing budgets.

These department heads will moan and groan, but given the task, they'll comply knowing that should they fail to do so, their replacements will. This ever increasing requirement for taxpayer money to support more and more government that provides less and less service simply has to stop.

Jolly for PTC Mayor
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Joined: 02/02/2013
No on SPLOST

SPLOST = Short term fix for long term problem.

Why hasn't our city incorporated the maintenance cost of our roads and cart paths since 2005???

These are items that are used daily and are know to wear out. Regular maintenance items like this should be budgeted every year, and not surprised on tax payers with new SPLOSTS.

Did our elected officials not see how the TSPLOST failed?? We as citizens are tired of these rising taxes.

This is why we need new leadership in Peachtree City and not the same people running who have failed the last 4 years.

Lets get out and vote for the Right Choice this November. Vote Jolly for Peachtree City Mayor.