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County leaders to discuss potential SPLOST projects
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Though yet to reach a collective agreement to allow citizens vote for an early extension of the existing Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), Bulloch County Commissioners and city officials will assemble today to confer about future SPLOST-funded projects.
    County Commissioners will meet with representatives from Brooklet, Portal, Register and Statesboro in the North Main Annex’s Community Room at 11:45 a.m. to review preliminary lists of projects to be paid for with tax revenue during a six-year period beginning in 2013.
    The conference is set to occur one week after the group of local leaders discussed a proposal that would have residents vote November 8, 2011, instead of 2012, to extend the county tax — the current SPLOST will expire in November 2013.
    According to Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch, an early extension would provide a “strategic advantage” for the county by “securing a big capital funding source through the end of the decade.”
    Officials could begin finalizing future plans assured that money will be available to pay for long-term projects, he said. 
    An early vote would also prevent a potential anti-tax sentiment caused by a one-cent transportation tax to reflect negatively on a SPLOST decision, said Couch — citizens will vote on the regional T-SPLOST  in 2012; the tax is intended by state officials to create jobs and provide improved transportation infrastructure throughout the state.
    Statesboro Mayor Joe Brannen has called for a second public meeting to discuss the early extension — the meeting date is still undetermined.
    Jeff Harrison can be reached at 912-489-9454.

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