A SPLOST Guide for County Commissioners is available HERE >>>>
Q. 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. County and municipal governments may not use SPLOST proceeds for operating
expenses or maintenance of a SPLOST project or any other county or municipal facility
or service. Technically, the SPLOST is levied in what the law refers to as a special district
comprising the entire territory of the county calling for the SPLOST.
The tax is imposed when the county board of commissioners or sole commissioner1 calls
a local referendum in conformance with O.C.G.A. § 48-8-111 and the referendum is
subsequently passed by the voters within that special district, i.e., county. The tax is
collected on items subject to the state sales and use tax within the county, including the
sale of motor fuels as defined in O.C.G.A. § 48-9-2. The SPLOST is also imposed on the
sale of food and beverages, which are not subject to the state sales tax [O.C.G.A. § 48-8-
Several factors determine the length of time that a SPLOST may be imposed. In general,
the tax may be levied for five years. If the county and qualified municipalities enter into
an intergovernmental agreement, the tax may be imposed for six years. If no
intergovernmental agreement exists and a Level One project is included, then the tax
must run: (1) for five years, if the estimated cost of all Level One projects is less than 24
months of estimated revenues; or, (2) for six years, if the estimated cost of all Level One
projects equals more than 24 months of estimated revenues. Once the tax terminates, it
can be immediately continued without a gap in collections if a referendum is timely held
in which the voters approve the new SPLOST.
The SPLOST law was enacted in 1985 at the request of ACCG. The SPLOST tax was
conceived of and was enacted as a county tax for funding capital projects. It is not a
municipal tax; nor is it a joint county-municipal tax like the regular Local Option Sales
Tax (LOST). As a county tax, a SPLOST can only be initiated by the board of
commissioners [O.C.G.A. § 48-8-110 and Op. Atty. Gen. U85-24].