Richmond Hill Rotarians got an in-depth look Thursday at the use and history of special purpose local option sales tax dollars in Bryan County during the club’s weekly meeting at the Richmond Hill City Center.
Jamie Coleman, member of the Bryan County SPLOST Advisory Committee, gave a presentation highlighting the purpose of the penny tax and explained that it is not a new or additional tax.
“SPLOST is not something I’m asking you to consider,” Coleman said. “It’s something I’m asking you to continue.”
The first-ever Bryan County SPLOST Advisory Committee was formed in April at the request of county commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed. The committee is made up of more than 30 citizens of North and South Bryan County, including county and city officials who serve as ex officio members.
The penny tax first began in Bryan County in 1987, Coleman explained, and has been in continuation ever since. SPLOST is not just for people in certain communities, he said, but for the entire county.
“It’s not just for people in Richmond Hill, and it doesn’t just help them down in Pembroke,” he said. “It’s for everyone.”
Coleman said 60 percent of SPLOST dollars come from visitors to Bryan County, with 50 percent of SPLOST dollars being generated at gas stations.
“If someone traveling form South Carolina to Florida stops at Hwy. 17 and buys $50 in gas, that means $5 for Bryan County,” Coleman said.
County voters decide the fate of SPLOST every six years, Coleman said. He noted it helps fund many projects that would otherwise be funded by property taxes.
If SPLOST doesn’t pass in the November election, he said, it could potentially mean an increase in the millage rate by 5 mills.
“(SPLOST) greatly reduces the burden on property owners, business owners and homeowners in Bryan County,” he said.
Read more in the Sept. 3 edition of the News.