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Alamo Joins Glenwood And Wheeler County To Support November SPLOST Referendum

In its regular session on April 17, the Alamo City Council passed a resolution agreeing to join the Wheeler County Commission and Glenwood City Council in scheduling a November referendum to call for a one cent special local option sales tax. The measure, if approved by voters, would take effect on April 1, 2024.

City of Alamo representatives had deferred acting on the referendum at a regular evening session on March 20. The Council had met earlier that day in a called session about the referendum with representatives of Wheeler County government and Glenwood Mayor G.M. Joiner.

Joiner said the Glenwood City Council approved scheduling the referendum in its regular April 4 session. Both the City of Glenwood and the City of Alamo derived about continued from page

$6,500 monthly — or around $78,000 annually — each from the proceeds of a SPLOST referendum passed in 2017.

Wheeler County Commission Chair Keith McNeal convened the March 20 called session at which Wheeler County Attorney Perry Avery advised officials of the purpose of the meeting. City and county representatives discussed the percentage of allocations each government entity would receive if the referendum is approved by voters.

A handout for 2011 and 2017 SPLOST distributions revealed that for these years Wheeler County was allocated 58% of the revenue collected; the City of Alamo received 18%; the City of Glenwood received 18%; and the County Recreation Department was allocated 6% of the total (assessed at 2% each per the county and the two municipalities). The county uses the funds for the courthouse, jail, roads, emergency medical services and fire and rescue services. The funds can be used only for capital improvements, not for operations.

During the March 20 session, the Wheeler County Commission voted to adopt these same percentages for the 2024 SPLOST. The resolution passed by the City of Alamo approves the 18% the City will receive, and allocates the funds for roads, streets and bridges; equipment for municipal services; and renovation and improvement of City buildings. Glenwood also accepted the 18% rate for the tax distribution, which will fund similar projects in that municipality.

McNeal said the SPLOST distribution occurs every six years, putting the process for the upcoming referendum behind schedule, with a distribution, should the referendum pass, occurring in 2024 rather than in 2023. He said the last SPLOST allocated a total of $477,773.78 for 2022. The amount allocated per year varies because of fluctuations in the sales tax that is collected.

Commenting on the fact that because the SPLOST referendum is a year behind schedulem costing the County and its municipalities a year’sworth of SPLOST funding, McNeal said, “We just let it slide by.” He said the County Clerk was notified in February by the Department of Revenue, which distributes the funding, that the last cycle of SPLOST funding allocations would end in March. “We just did not have time to schedule a referendum until November,” McNeal said.

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