Archived Story

SPLOST pact made between city, county

Published 9:13pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners and the City of Bainbridge came to an agreement Tuesday on the distribution of SPLOST VI revenue, the one-cent sales tax used to fund local capital outlay projects.
Decatur County will receive 46.11 percent, Bainbridge will receive 38.5 percent, Attapulgus will receive 1.61 percent, Brinson will receive 0.77 percent and Climax will receive 1.01 percent.
The Hospital Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County will remain at 12 percent, despite earlier discussions that their percentage would be reduced.
At the meeting between Decatur County and its municipalities Tuesday morning, it was addressed that Decatur County never intended to alter the Hospital Authority’s percentage of SPLOST revenue.
“We have never ever said we were going to cut the hospital,” Decatur County Chairman Frank Loeffler said.
However, last Thursday, Decatur County Administrator Gary Breedlove said in order for Decatur County to operate as the state mandates, they needed a bigger piece of the SPLOST percentage, which is “going to impact what percentage the hospital gets,” he said.
Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby said he was glad Decatur County and Bainbridge were able to make a decision.
“The City of Bainbridge and Decatur County were able to reach this agreement because both governments were able to put aside differences and do what was in the best interest of our citizens,” Hobby said. “I could not be more pleased that we were able to reach a quick agreement that protects the interests of Decatur County, its cities and the Hospital Authority.”
The agreement will be presented and ratified no later than the county commission meeting on Feb. 25.
Loeffler said all six members of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners agreed that the distribution was fair, although it wasn’t what they were shooting for.
“The important thing is, we reached an agreement,” Loeffler said. “I’m just happy for that.”
Hobby said that SPLOST was a crucial tool for both governments and represents a fair tax that “best enables us to complete capital projects without adding to the burden of property tax payers,” he said.
“It’s a united thing and it’s a goal,” Loeffler said. “The city and the county are both involved in serious business. We need serious people to work through it.”
Decatur County voters will be able to make a decision on SLOST VI on the ballot during the May primaries.

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