PERRY -- Lagging sales tax revenue means Houston County department heads wont be spending as much on vehicles, equipment and other capital items as they had planned this year.
Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said at Tuesdays board meeting that the county plans to cut special purpose local option sales tax spending by 10 to 12 percent from what had been budgeted. Thats about the amount collections are down from projections.
The SPLOST was expected to raise $155 million countywide, with $35.4 million to go to the unincorporated area.
The reduction lasts through the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Stalnaker said after the meeting the board also may reduce sales tax spending in next years budget in anticipation of the trend continuing.
Factoring into that is the implementation of sequestration, which is automatic federal spending cuts that will mean 22 days of furlough for about 15,000 civilian employees at Robins Air Force Base. The 21st Century Partnership has estimated that will mean a drop of $54 million in discretionary spending power for those employees.
While sales tax revenue in the county hasnt dropped compared to last year, he said, the growth hasnt been what was expected. SPLOST collections in January were down $400,000 from what had been projected, Stalnaker said.
The proceeds are not coming in as anticipated, therefore we cannot spend more than we are taking in, he said.
The reductions impact only expenditures from the SPLOST voters approved last March. Other projects funded through a 2006 sales tax, such at the Ga. 96 widening, will not impacted.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.