On Friday, April 1, local merchants in Henry County began collections for the one-penny sales tax transportation SPLOST. Over the next five years, the additional tax will pay for major road widening projects throughout the county.
Voters approved T-SPLOST at the November 2021 ballot box. This measure, when combined with existing programs, brings the local sales tax rate from 7 to 8%.
Local Sales Tax
The sales tax rate in Henry County now includes the following:
- 4% Georgia state sales tax, exempt on groceries and prescriptions.
- 1% L.O.S.T. – local operations sales tax which funds the county and cities’ annual budgets to reduce property taxes.
- 1% county SPLOST – pays for capital projects by Henry County Government and cities last approved in November 2019.
- One Percent education SPLOST – pays for capital projects by Henry County Schools last approved in March 2021.
- 1% transportation SPLOST – pays for transportation projects last approved in November 2021.
- Total 8%
In calendar year 2021, each penny tax collected $52.2 million. Due to rising inflation rates, local sales tax collections have also increased proportionally.
Henry County estimated T-SPLOST will collect $245 million over five years. The county will receive $165 million, with the remainder split among local cities.
Henry County intends to spend $155 million of its share on major road projects. They include the following:
- State Route 81 widening (phase I), Postmaster Drive and Bethany Road – $28 million
- Bill Gardner Parkway widening, I-75 to SR 155 – $34 million
- Jonesboro Road widening, Mill Road to N Mt. Carmel Road – $35 million
- Mill Road widening, Jonesboro Road to Flea Market – $5 million
- McDonough Parkway extension, SR 42 to SR 155 – $14 million
- Rock Quarry Road widening, Hospital Drive to SR 138 – $27 million
- Fairview Road widening, Hearn Road to SR 155 – $12 million
Projects concurrently underway include requests for proposals (RFPs) to award design contracts for Bill Gardner Parkway and Jonesboro Road. In addition, the McDonough Parkway extension is shovel-ready pending final approval from Georgia DOT. Finally, the Rock Quarry Road widening and state route 81 are purchasing right of way.
State Average Sales Tax
In recent years, many counties like Henry have approved transportation SPLOST programs. This measure increased their sales tax rate to 8%.
The highest sales tax rate is now 9% found in Columbus-Muscogee County. On the other hand, Cherokee, Cobb and Gwinnett Counties each levy 6%. The statewide average — not adjusted for population — equals 7.62%.
Out of Georgia’s 159 counties, 101 presently levy an 8% sales tax rate. Fifty-five counties levy a 7% rate, and three counties levy 6%. Finally, the city of Atlanta has an 8.5% rate. Atlanta is the only city with a different rate from its county because of special state legislation for the More MARTA program.
Featured image shows a receipt showing 8% sales tax. Photo credit Clayton Carte.
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