Rabun County Says “Yes”

All the votes have been counted, and the one percent sales tax in Rabun County will be continuing.

Sixty percent of the over seventeen hundred and fifty voters who cast a ballot said yes to extending the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for another six years to fund projects throughout the county.

Clayton City Councilwoman Debbie Chisolm said that she is disappointed, as the SPLOST passed with no funds specifically listed to go to the city of Clayton, as they were not included in the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the one percent tax.

“It’s a very sad day for the city,” said Chisolm. “Most of the sales tax for the next six years will be collected in our city limits, and yet the county government decided not to share a penny of it. It’s just shameful.”

Rabun County Commissioner Jimmy Loudermilk said that SPLOST passing is good for the county, and that while Clayton is not specifically listed in the IGA to receive money from one percent sales tax, money listed for water and sewer projects could go to the city if they consolidate.

“They can [receive SPLOST funds], yes,” said Loudermilk. “There is money, as Butch has said before, there is money in there for the city of Clayton if the city wants to work with the water authority.”

The tax passed by much thinner margin than the previous SPLOST, with forty percent of those who voted saying “no.”

Clayton City Councilwoman Debbie Chisolm said that is an indicator of citizens desiring more transparency from the Rabun County Commissioners.

“I think everybody in our county here is realizing that we have a county government that is not completely transparent with us and that surely sent that message,” said Chisolm. “I wish more of them had come out.”

Rabun County Commissioner Jimmy Loudermilk said that the closer decision is due to a small group of citizens.

“I know that I am extremely happy it passed, and I believe the other commissioners are too because without it, it would be amazing at the amount of money we would lose,” said Loudermilk. “The main thing I think about it, more than anything else, I think we’ve got a few disgruntled people out there, and we’re going to have that regardless.”

The number of total voters nearly doubled from how many participated in the last SPLOST election in 2007.