Tonight, the Monroe County Commission is moving forward with a plan for the 2014 SPLOST. The commissioners, and mayors sat down to discuss the percentage split among the county, Forsyth, and Culloden to make sure all the citizens benefit fairly if the next penny tax passes.
There's still two years before the Monroe County SPLOST expires, but local leaders are already pushing the penny tax back to the ballot for March 2012.
"This cumulative agreement between city and county is very important because of things we've got to start planning for in 2013, and 2014," says Mayor Tye Howard, Forsyth.
One of the big line items is more $3 million dollars in upgrades to radio bandwidths. The change is required by federal law. Without it, public safety and law enforcement agencies will not be able communicate over the airwaves. This is listed as a county project that also benefits both Culloden and Forsyth.
"We're excited about having an agreement about this future SPLOST," says Chairman James Vaughn, Monroe County Commission.
Some local leaders went into the called meeting with hesitation.
"I had some people that were concerned with the overage in the future, but in the current economic downturn, I felt we needed to get past that," says Mayor Howard.
If any money over the projected $30.6 million, is brought in, Forsyth city leaders were hoping for a bigger percentage cut. Tonight's decision mandates that regardless of a shortage or surplus, in this new SPLOST, the county will receive just over 83%, less than 2% will go to Culloden, and Forsyth gets 15%.
"I'm more comfortable with the funds being allocated the same way no matter what," says Chairman Vaughn.
A decision all parties signed over to the voters.
If it passes, this SPLOST will be a continuation of the current penny tax. The six year tax would begin January 2014.