SPLOST VII campaign kicks off

Update 2012-09-27 8:50AM: Added video, stills, and notes about the County Palace and Internet access.
The seventh Special Local Option Sales Tax, SPLOST, will be on the November ballot. Not to be confused with the just-defeated bogus regional transportation T-SPLOST, or last year’s successful educational ESPLOST, or the currently renegotiating property-tax-relief LOST, SPLOST Campaign SPLOST VII will follow up on SPLOST VI in supporting local infrastructure projects.

Greg Gullberg reported for WCTV today, Campaign Kicks Off For Valdosta Tax (no video appears to be available): The text story link has vanished, but video has appeared.

There is a campaign in Lowndes County to rally for the tax called SPLOST, or the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. It could bring in as much as $35 million, but that is only if voters say it’s worth the extra pennies.

Jerome Tucker “When you talk about economic development you are not going to be very successful at it without the development of infrastructure. And this tax gives us the opportunity to provide this infrastructure,” said Jerome Tucker, Campaign Organizer….

The funds provide $16 million dollars for the City of Valdosta and $18 million for unincorporated areas of Lowndes County. Some major projects including adding two new roundabouts to the Five Points Project Area in Valdosta. An area where current intersections are ranked an “F” by G-DOT.

Lowndes County Palace The video slowly zooms in on the County Palace, which was largely paid for out of SPLOST VI funds, while Gullberg leads up to this:

But not everyone is convinced voters are getting what they think.

Maybe voters would like to know what they’re getting?

“The biggest concern that I have is how did the project list get made,” said Gretchen Quarterman, Gretchen Quarterman Valdosta community activist. “There really wasn’t a lot of citizen input. And I’m very interested in transparent and accessible government. And there are some projects that I think should be on the list that are not.”….

How about some 21st century infrastructure, like fast Internet access everywhere? That’s not on the SPLOST VII list, but a humongous new library building designed by an out-of-county and out-of-state architect is.

The “SPLOST Seven Public Awareness Committee” will be hosting a public event Friday to promote the various projects planned in the city and county. It will be at the South Georgia Medical Center Parking Garage at 10 am.

Maybe they’ll explain what’s on the list and why.