Vote YES for Effingham
The chamber of commerce’s Board of Directors supports two referendums that will appear on the November 2 countywide election ballot. Voters will be asked to approve a six-year extension of the current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), and a “Freeport” exemption to the ad valorem tax on e-commerce inventory held in a fulfillment center for shipment from that center directly to the purchaser. We urge county voters to approve both referendums.
Thanks to the support of the Savannah Area REALTORS®
SPLOST Renewal Ballot Question
The SPLOST ballot question will authorize renewal of the current SPLOST (Local Special Purpose Option Sales Tax) for an additional six years.
SPLOST proceeds can only be used to fund capital outlay projects by Effingham County and the cities of Guyton, Rincon and Springfield. Eligible projects include roads, streets, bridges, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, garbage trucks, and other major equipment.
Prior SPLOST-funded projects include the Clarence Morgan Sports Complex and Gymnasium, Effingham Parkway, the Sheriff’s Offices and County Jail expansion, improvements at Macomber and McCall parks, drainage and technology projects, as well as countless local roads, vehicles, and public works equipment. The renewed SPLOST will fund similar projects.
What is a SPLOST?
A SPLOST is an optional one percent county sales tax used to fund capital outlay projects proposed by the county government and participating qualified municipal governments. The SPLOST law was enacted by the Georgia Legislature in 1985.
SPLOST proceeds can only be used to fund capital outlay projects. With some exceptions, SPLOST proceeds may not be used for maintenance and operation costs. The law expressly includes without limitation roads, streets, bridges, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, garbage trucks, and other major equipment.
The following are examples of road, street, and bridge projects:
- Acquisition of rights of way for roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths
- Construction of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths
- Renovation and improvement of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths, including resurfacing
- Relocation of utilities for roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths
- Improvement of surface-water drainage for roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths
- Patching, leveling, milling, widening, shoulder preparation, culvert repair, and other repairs necessary for the preservation of roads, streets, bridges, sidewalks, and bicycle paths
- Major equipment
Proposed SPLOST-Funded Projects
Parks and Recreation Capital Projects - $24,800,000
Fire Department Capital Projects - $3,700,000
Safety, Security and Technology Capital Projects - $1,122,400
Emergency Operations Center and Emergency Management Offices - $1,300,000
Replace Ambulance Units - $900,000
EMS Station Rincon Area - $600,000
Public Works Capital Projects - $5,724,000
Public Safety Projects - $3,950,000
Water and Sewer Capital Projects - $1,747,200
Public Safety Capital Projects - $349,440
Water and Sewer Capital Projects - $824,320
Parks and Recreation Capital Projects - $515,200
Click on the the "SPLOST Project Lists" link below to see a complete list.
E-Commerce Ballot Question
Voters on November 2 will be asked to approve a “Freeport” exemption to the tax on e-commerce inventory.
Removal of this inventory tax will alleviate a competitive disadvantage for Effingham County as it recruits desirable companies to locate here, bringing with them new jobs and investments. Our surrounding counties have already approved the exemption and are seeing the benefits. Effingham, however, lags behind on e-commerce in our highly competitive region.
The Freeport tax exemptions were established by the Georgia Legislature in 2016. Effingham County has already approved Freeport exemptions on most other goods manufactured or produced here or stored in a warehouse. This referendum would simply extend the exemption to e-commerce products moving through local facilities on their way direct to consumers.
The exemption would not have a negative effect on county tax receipts, as we have little e-commerce activity here now. But the potential investments made by online merchants could be a strong boost to our economy, and create good paying permanent jobs.
What the E-Commerce Referendum Means to You
The E-Commerce referendum is not a tax. It is an exemption of inventory tax on products in an e-commerce distribution center, being prepared for shipment to consumers.
Effingham County suffers a competitive disadvantage in the fast-growing e-commerce industry, because of this outdated tax on e-commerce products.
Effingham County already exempts most other products made here or stored in a warehouse. This referendum just extends the exemption to e-commerce products.
Potential investments made by online merchants could boost our economy, and create good paying, permanent jobs.
Important: Voting Instructions
Polling for these county ballot questions will take place on November 2, 2021, at the regular voting precincts of Effingham County. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
To find your precinct polling place, check your current voter registration card or go to the Georgia My Voter Page.. It will provide you with your polling place’s name and address.
Early Voting - County
Weekday early voting begins October 12, with Saturday early voting on October 16 and October 23. Early voting hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
All early voting for the county election will take place at the Board of Elections & Registration Office, 284 Ga. Highway 119 South, Springfield, GA 31329. You can request an absentee ballot until October 22. The completed ballot Must be returned to the Elections Office by 7:00 p.m. on November 2, 2021. You must present a valid government-issued photo ID to vote.
Important: If you vote in the City of Rincon’s general election at a city polling place, you must still vote in the county election at your regular voting precinct.
Voting Instructions - Rincon Municipal Election
Rincon's municipal election will be held on November 2 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., at the Vernon C. Hinely Community Center, 102 South Columbia Avenue. Advanced voting will be held weekdays beginning October 12 through October 29 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays October 16 and October 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Rincon City Hall, 302 S. Columbia Avenue..
Voting Instructions - Guyton Municipal Election
Guyton residents should follow the instructions above for voting at the Board of Elections & Registration Office, 284 Ga. Highway 119 South in Springfield.
The Springfield Municipal Election has been cancelled.
For more information, visit the Effingham County Elections & Registration website or call (912) 754-8030.