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Gwinnett, Cities to Meet on Possible SPLOST Referendum

The meeting would be the beginning of the formal process of possibly calling for a referendum on the 1 percent sales tax.

Updated 2:50 p.m.

Moving beyond the preliminary phase, Gwinnett County officials have asked to meet with officials from cities in the county regarding a possible SPLOST vote in November.

The meeting is set for Tuesday, June 4, at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville, according to Suwanee and Gwinnett officials. Suwanee City Council members were told of the meeting Thursday (May 16) at a workshop.

Also, Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette said that Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash appeared at a recent Gwinnett Municipal Association (GwMA) meeting for a "listening session." Burnette is on the GwMA executive committee.

-- Do you favor extending the Gwinnett SPLOST program? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The county's current 1 percent per dollar Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax expires at the end of 2013. Voters would have to approve an extension in November.

Gwinnett spokesperson Heather Sawyer said Friday: "Gwinnett County is considering placing a referendum question before voters on the November 5 ballot to re-impose SPLOST. In accordance with state law, Gwinnett County has scheduled a meeting for the County and cities to discuss possible projects for inclusion in the upcoming SPLOST referendum."

Elected officials with Gwinnett County and the cities would have to be in accord on how the SPLOST monies would be spent before formally calling for a referendum. That spending agenda would be available to the public before a vote.

Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen said the city has no "wish list" yet for a SPLOST vote.

The current Gwinnett SPLOST program, which took effect in 2009, has generated about $500 million in revenue (about $11.1 million per month) through December 2012, according to county figures.

As of January 2013, Suwanee has received about $7.7 million from the 2009 Gwinnett SPLOST, according to county figures.

At a Town Hall meeting in Suwanee in April, Gwinnett commissioners said "there will be an official call for a referendum by the end of July."

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