MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Macon-Bibb County Commission is considering adding, two new penny sales taxes.
Tuesday morning, commissioners talked more about the Other Local Options Sales Tax (OLOST). The OLOST has been discussed for months, but in Tuesday’s committee meeting, commissioners heard from a lawyer, Chuck Palmer, on more about the OLOST. Palmer has experience with looking into adopting the OLOST, as he did in other Georgia counties, like Columbus-Muskogee county.
Palmer explained there homeowners would get a millage rate rollback and property tax freeze.
“It would protect the homeowner in sudden, dramatic increases in property tax,” said Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert.
“There’s a possibly that we could roll back the millage rate, up to 6, 7 mills and give the citizens a tax break,” said Commissioner Al Tillman.
The Middle Georgia Regional Commission presented the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) Tuesday morning, as another possibility. The TSPLOST would go towards transportation projects. Executive Director, Laura Mathis, explained some of the project the TSPLOST would fund, would be getting new buses, and looking into fixing and improving Jeffersonville Road and Sardis Church Road. The TSPLOST would not just impact Macon-Bibb, but 11 counties.
“Of course there is a benefit to having a TSPLOST, but I just don’t think having both on the ballot, would be a good selling point,” said Tillman.
Right now, for every dollar you spend in Macon-Bibb County, you pay 7 cents in sales taxes. Four pennies go to the state, one to local sales tax, one to SPLOST and another to the ELOST. So, this could mean you would pay 9 cents for every dollar, when you shop in the county.
“I know sometimes we look at it as, ‘oh this is another tax’, but you know, the millage rate that we raised for 3 mils, only goes towards property owners,” said Tillman. “The OLOST, everybody has to pay into it and I think the entire community benefits from it.”
Macon-Bibb Commissioners voted to move forward with the idea of the OLSOT in a 7-2 vote. The next step is to work with local state delegation on the creating potential legislation for the OLOST.
It would be up to voters if the new sales taxes get adopted. The Middle Georgia Regional Commission is aiming to get the TSPLOST on the ballot in May of 2018. The OLOST could appear in November’s local election.