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Bibb County approves July 20 SPLOST vote

Bibb County commissioners are clear on one thing: They want a sales tax that would collect $183 million over six years. Now they’ve started with the more difficult problem of divvying up the money.

Commissioners voted this morning to ask Macon and Payne City leaders for lists of projects that those governments want. County commissioners appear united on three main goals — new courthouses, recreation improvements and stormwater fixes. But city leaders could throw more projects into the mix, such as paying for police cars.

Final decisions will be made by the county commission.

The vote also firmed up July 20 as the date for the special purpose local option sales tax referendum. If passed, the sales tax would climb from 6 percent to 7 percent, matching neighboring counties.

Commissioner Lonzy Edwards said the courthouse is a joint city-county project, rebutting a recent comment made by Councilman Erick Erickson. But the courthouse — at an estimated $83.6 million — would claim about half of the sales tax money, and Edwards said officials had to be careful not to put too many things on the project list.

Commissioner Joe Allen said the SPLOST money should be used only for the courthouse, recreation and stormwater problems.

“Why would you want any more than that? Otherwise it would be defeated,” he said.

For more on this story, return to macon.com and read Wednesday’s Telegraph.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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