Houston & Peach

Houston voters will head to the polls on March 21

Centerville Mayor John Harley, left, speaks with Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker prior to a meeting Tuesday to call for a sales tax referendum.
Centerville Mayor John Harley, left, speaks with Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker prior to a meeting Tuesday to call for a sales tax referendum. wcrenshaw@macon.com

The Houston County Commission made it official Tuesday that voters will head to the polls March 21 to decide whether to extend the special purpose local option sales tax.

On Monday, the city councils of Warner Robins, Centerville and Perry approved an intergovernmental agreement on how the SPLOST proceeds will be distributed.

On Tuesday, the commission also approved the agreement, and then commissioners cast the vote to call for the referendum. Both were approved unanimously.

Commission Chairmman Tommy Stalnaker said the vote is the end of a process that has been going on for months and involved extensive talks among the county and the three cities. He said all of the discussions were in a cooperative spirit.

“Never one time have you heard a cross word between any of the government entities about the distribution of these funds,” he said.

The tax would extend the current 1-cent sales tax for another six years. It would pay for road improvements, buy many law enforcement vehicles and significantly improve recreation facilities in all three cities. It also includes a $7 million indoor swimming facility that would be operated by Warner Robins but available for all residents in the county to use.

The tax is estimated to collect $145 million, which is $10 million less than what was projected in the current tax. The current tax has fallen short of the estimate.

For a complete list of projects go to www.houstoncountyga.org and click on “SPLOST” under the “Commissioner” tab at the top of the page.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1

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