Starting April 1, you may notice a small change to your bill when you go shopping. That’s because the sales tax on most items across DeKalb County is going from seven percent to eight percent; a result of the new SPLOST that passed with 70+ percent support last November.
If your initial reaction is one of skepticism, I hear you. I have never been one to advocate for a tax increase. But if you’re going to consider a tax increase, this one was done the right way – with a fully transparent public process and vote, with real accountability built in.
For Tucker, this SPLOST is a game-changer. While DeKalb County will be collecting the additional penny tax, the City of Tucker will be given a share of that revenue proportionate to our population. That comes out to about $32 million over the six-year life of the SPLOST. We decide what we do with it. No one else gets to tell us which projects we fund as long as we stay within the bounds of the allowable types of projects. The math is simple: we spend at least 65 percent toward road and drainage improvements, at least 20 percent toward multi-modal transportation projects, and we have up to 15 percent of funds that can be designated for improvements in Parks and Recreation and improvements to public safety, including fire facilities and citywide safety equipment.
You’ve seen the state of some of our roads and you’re hopefully aware of our infrastructure needs. This is a huge opportunity for us to put into practice what we preached from the start of the cityhood movement: some decisions are best made at the local level. The projects funded by this SPLOST are a perfect example of that.
Inside this month’s newsletter, you’ll meet Ken Hildebrandt, our City Engineer who has been working diligently for months to make sure Tucker hits the ground running once these SPLOST funds start coming in. You’ll also gain some insight into which roads the City can and cannot spend SPLOST funds to repair – important when you wonder why we’re not repaving or regrading certain roads.
I hope that once you read up on the steps we’re taking, you’ll see that this SPLOST is going to bring about some much-needed improvements across all areas of the City of Tucker, making it an even better place to call home.