Back to basics with
Cobb’s next SPLOST
By Chart Riggall
Every time you spend a dollar in Cobb County, a penny
goes into a very large piggy bank.
So large, in fact, is that piggy bank — otherwise known as
the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST —
that the last six-year cycle of the tax is expected to bring in
over $850 million by the end of 2021.
The tax become a fixture of county revenues since its debut.
Cobb voters elected in 2020 to renew the tax for another
six years, beginning on Jan. 1, 2022.
All that money goes toward an array of Cobb County
infrastructure. It has funded projects like the renovation
of parks facilities, the construction of the civic center and
countless roadway improvements.
Indeed, road work remains the largest line item for the
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county. It will take up about half of all the revenue brought
in through the 2022 cycle. A whopping $213 million will be
solely devoted to repaving roads, ever a concern in traffic
heavy Cobb County.
The 2016 cycle, according to the county, has been a success
— not only did it reach its target collection of $750 million,
but it’s blasted through that number to bring in an extra $15.2
million in revenue on average each month in 2021. That money
is going to extra, wish-list items approved by the Board of
Commissioners earlier in the year. They include historic preservation
work, community centers, fire stations, and trails.
The projects on the upcoming 2022 list, meanwhile,
include a new firing range for police, an upgrade to radio
systems, and technology upgrades.
Cobb’s cities also get a slice of the SPLOST revenue based
on their population. Mayor Tommy Allegood of Acworth
has long cherished the program.
“There is not another tax revenue, maybe in the world, that has
a better return on investment,” Allegood has said. “Our community
would look different if it had not been for the SPLOST.”
Allegood projects that since the SPLOST program began,
his city will have received over $160 million from the tax
when the 2022 six-year cycle is complete. Sixty percent of
the revenues from the upcoming cycle will fund surface
Kennesaw, meanwhile, has earmarked over $12 million
for parks and other city facilities, and $8.5 million for a new
center to house police headquarters, 911 staff, and other
emergency services. And it hopes to complete its renovation
of Depot Park, near the city’s downtown.
Below from left: Commissioners Jerica Richardson, JoAnn Birrell,
Monique Sheffield and Chairwoman Lisa Cupid cut the ribbon on the
new Mableton park in March. - Robin Rayne