A penny sales tax to help pay for just about everything local governments fund is more than a good idea, a Jones County commissioner says.
“It’s a necessity,” commission Chairman Preston Hawkins said recently.
The so-called SPLOST, if voters agree to it May 20, would, among other things, help fund building upgrades, law enforcement vehicles, an animal control facility, the county library, industrial park debt, public works and recreational improvements.
If approved, the measure would raise an estimated $12 million over the next half decade or so.
“What we’re working on is $12 million. Six years ago, we worked on $14 million,” Hawkins said. “But the way things are looking, we might not get $14 million.”
Sales tax collections have been down in many locales in recent years because of the economic slowdown.
Hawkins, in his 10th year on the commission, knows of no organized opposition to the sales tax proposal.
Part of the proceeds would help fund the local industrial park.
“I tell everybody, if we don’t get industry out here ... operating a county on 60- or 70-percent ad valorem taxes, it’s tough.”
The SPLOST, he added, “is a good thing because, let me tell you, your ad valorem taxes would be way up there if it wasn’t for that.
“I’d rather pay a penny along than let it hit me all at the end of the year.”
Contact writer Joe Kovac Jr. at 744-4397.