Several speak in opposition to TSPLOST at County Meeting

TSPLOST Purple Heart County construction multifamily development

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – At the October County Meeting, a large crowd gathered to express their displeasure with the TSPLOST referendum and other issues.

Early voting is ongoing in Union County concerning the TSPLOST referendum, which if passed would add a one percent sales tax across the county. It would bring the total sales tax up to eight percent. Union County already has LOST, SPLOST and ESPLOST included in sales tax.

TSPLOST if approved by the voters would go into effect for five years and generate up to $35 million in income for transportation-related projects. TSPLOST can only go toward transportation projects and in some instances road department salaries since they work on local roads and bridges.

TSPLOST, like SPLOST and ESPLOST, must be voted on by the public every five years and only remains in effect if passed each time.

Those in favor of TSPLOST and Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris have stated that adding the TSPLOST sales tax would alleviate the burden on property owners. Instead of relying on property taxes, TSPLOST could supplement the general fund for the maintenance of roads and bridges.

The tax would also apply to everyone visiting Union County and not just the residents.

Scheduled speaker Doy Lively spoke out against TSPLOST decrying that this is the worst time to impose a new tax on the public. Everyone across the country is experiencing rising costs at the grocery store, pump, housing market, and beyond. Additionally, many in Union County survive on their Social Security paycheck alone.

Lively wasn’t the only individual in attendance to express displeasure with TSPLOST. Several in the crowd felt like the necessity of TSPLOST had been poorly justified and the county needed to manage funds more wisely.

They stated that they didn’t know where to ask questions about the budget, TSPLOST, or other issues.

The county just entered the last week of early voting for the TSPLOST issue and election day is on November 2.

Anyone with questions regarding TSPLOST or the county can contact the commissioner’s office at 706.439.6000.

Additional Business

Paris accepted a contract with Winkler and Winkler Construction for Union County Facilities Additions/ Renovations for $698,075. Senior Center renovations are included in the total project cost for $422,579. The location of the additions part of the project is being kept secret for personal safety reasons and amounts to $275,496.

Dr. Riccardo B. Rivas was appointed to the Board of Elections for a term ending on December 31, 2022. He is one of the two Democrats on the board. The Board of Elections consists of two Democrats, two Republicans, and the Elections Chair.

Two maintenance-related contracts were accepted. One with Cummins, Inc for generator maintenance at the E-911 Dispatch Center in the amount of $1,199.72. The second contract was with Mobile Communications America for 911 Dispatch Radio maintenance for $4,800.

North Carolina Department of Transportation will reimburse Union County $36,084 for paving 0.34 miles on Tate Road.

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