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Posted: March 15, 2011 5:28 a.m.

Hurry: Polls close at 7 p.m. for SPLOST vote

Poll hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday

Photo by Gabriel Khouli/

At the voting booth: Mary Cole of Covington casts her early SPLOST vote Friday.

It's up to Newton County voters on Tuesday to decide the fate of the 2011 SPLOST.

 Residents have already cast 1,160 votes in early voting, which ended Friday.

"I feel pretty positive," said Denny Dobbs, chairman of a group boosting SPLOST. "I think people realize this is a tough choice, but really no choice. We have to keep moving forward. We've grown by 40,000 people in 10 years and the pressure that's put on our services isthat's put on our services is obvious to everyone."

Dobbs noted that many people have quibbles with some of the projects on the list, but he contends that 97 percent of the projects are ones the county has to complete in the next six years.

Some residents are unhappy with the list, but there has been no organized opposition to SPLOST. The committee hopes its efforts to spread SPLOST information and support will pay off Tuesday.

Past SPLOSTs in Newton County have passed with at least 62 percent of the vote.

SPLOST stands for special purpose local option sales tax. It's a 1-percent tax that pays for local government capital projects such as buildings, roads and major equipment purchases. If passed, the 2011 SPLOST would keep Newton County's sales tax rate at 7 percent and it's expected to collect $57.6 million over six years. Learn more about the 2011 SPLOST here.

If the SPLOST fails, it can be brought back up for a vote one year from now or later. The 2005 SPLOST will end June 30.

Click here to take a poll on SPLOST.

Click here for a county precinct guide.

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