Governor Kemp visits Macon to approve OLOST tax in Bibb County
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Macon-Bibb County is one step closer to having an OLOST tax after Governor Brian Kemp signed off on it Friday.
The Governor along with Senators and Representatives gathered at the Georgia Farm Bureau to watch nine bills be signed.
The Other Local Option Sales Tax would add an extra penny onto a bill for anything purchased in Macon-Bibb. If passed, the county would collect around $30 million dollars.
Senator John Kennedy says he looks forward to finally seeing what the penny tax can do for the community.
“This allows the folks of Macon to decide to give us an opportunity to lower our property taxes,” Kennedy stated. “We appreciate the Governor being in Macon, and allowing us to make this law here in our town.”
Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller says the money collected would go towards public safety and boost the local economy.
“It allows a safety net in our general fund to make sure we fully fund all of our first responders,” Miller explained. “This is not just the police, it’s the fire department, our EMA, and our 911 operators as well.”
State Representative Robert Dickey also supports the bill. As a representative of Peach County, he says if voters approve an OLOST, it could open doors for other areas too.
“When Macon-Bibb succeeds the whole Middle Georgia succeeds, we’re all tied together,” Dickey said.
Before signing the bill, Governor Kemp took a moment to thank the local government for their work toward OLOST, and in fighting the pandemic through the mass vaccination site.
Mayor Miller says he’s happy to see a dream for OLOST approval become a reality.
“It’s just a very special moment for me,” Miller said. “Two years ago when I started my campaign, an OLOST was one of the provisions. I always had public safety in mind to do that. I say fourth times a charm because a lot of hard work went into getting this done.”
Although the Governor signed his approval, the OLOST tax still has to pass a voting from residents. The Mayor says county attorneys are evaluating how soon voting can happen.