Quirk In Ga. State Law Prompts DeKalb To Call Off SPLOST | WABE 90.1 FM

Quirk In Ga. State Law Prompts DeKalb To Call Off SPLOST

Jul 21, 2016

Hundreds of miles of roads in DeKalb County will have to wait on special funds for resurfacing until state lawmakers can change a wording error in state law.

DeKalb County Commissioners voted this week against putting a special penny sales tax on November’s ballot because if the tax was approved, it would trigger an end to some property tax breaks for homeowners because of how one two-page state bill had been written. 

“It's very very disappointing, so we'll keep plugging away with our little pothole patches and work with our state legislature to correct their issue and bring this back,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Kathy Gannon.

A 2015 law designed to extend DeKalb County homestead exemptions had a wording error. Instead of the word “tolled,” which was written in the bill and would end the exemptions, it should have been a word meaning the opposite, Gannon said.  

“It's certainly not optimal how this played out. But I think it's lot better that it was learned now as opposed to November 9, the day after the election,” said state Representative Scott Holcomb, who co-sponsored the legislation, but did not author the bill.

"So all things being equal, this is something that can be fixed and it will just delay the implementation of any SPLOST measures," he said.

Holcomb said he believes it'll get fixed next session.

The new sales tax, if approved, was expected to raise more than $550 million for the county for road repairs and other projects.