Walker County Will Decide SPLOST Issue in Tuesday Election

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 11/04/2013 6:33 pm
LAFAYETTE, GA. (WDEF-TV) - Residents of Walker County have approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax every 6 years since 1987.
That one cent tacked on to retail purchases has provided funding for several public buildings and various other projects.
But the SPLOST has some active opposition in Tuesday's election.

The Walker County 9-1-1 center, the Civic Center , roads, bridges and parks were all funded by the Splost over the years.
Longtime Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has become a lightning rod for the anti-splost group.

BEBE HEISKELL, COMMISSIONER "I believe it will pass...because most of the people know what's its done for us in the past."

Heiskell and the county released information pamphlets proposing projects for all communities in Walker county from the estimated 33-million the new SPLOST would raise. Some voters object to how it will be used and who decides.

MISTY CANTERBURY, CHICKAMAUGA "SPLOST is a good idea...the way the funds are managed is not...not doing anything for anybody."

K.C. CAMPBELL "If you get a chance to vote to pay less taxes, I'm going to vote to pay less taxes."

A new SPLOST would include funding to buy equipment for a new unfinished library, public works projects, and to acquire an option on 480 acres for an industrial park on highway 27.

BEBE HEISKELL "It would be easy to develop..we've got three potential manufacturers that want to come here."

But the issue still sparks lots of debate on the street.

GLEN MAHAN, WALKER COUNTY "I support it...anything to bring in extra funds to help the county grow."

And, there's also underlying political disagreements.
Heiskell quotes a former candidate for her job.

BEBE HEISKELL "She said, if I don't win this election we've got to start fighting the SPLOST, because if SPLOST fails Bebe Heiskell will have to raise taxes and if she does we can beat her in the next election ...So this is about politics as much as it is about capital improvements."

Walker county residents will be choosing city leaders in Tuesday's election, along with deciding the future of the "SPLOST".

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