Monroe County voters approved the continuation of a penny sales tax for county residents Tuesday night by a 2-to-1 ratio.
Voters approved the measure 2,948-1,409. The 67 percent approval for the special purpose local option sales tax was lower than the previous SPLOST vote five years ago, which was approved by nearly 88 percent of the voters.
The new sales tax essentially will be a continuation of that SPLOST. The current sales tax will continue until 2013, meaning the six-year SPLOST approved Tuesday won’t begin until then.
The SPLOST is expected to raise about $30 million, which will be used to buy a new emergency radio system. There also will be money in the SPLOST for water and sewer improvements, roads and bridges, recreation and a business incubator.
The city of Forsyth will receive about $4.6 million from the SPLOST, most of which is going to pay for water lines and emergency radios.
County officials decided to hold the SPLOST referendum Tuesday rather than wait until July, when a Transportation SPLOST also would be on the ballot.
Officials said they worked hard to get the word out about the differences between the county SPLOST and the T-SPLOST.
“We’ve done the very best we can in telling the difference between the two,” Monroe County Commission Chairman James Vaughn said last week.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.