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Democratic party hosts SPLOST presentation
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The Newton County Democratic Party hosted members of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) Committee Monday night to answer questions about the March 21 SPLOST election.

Members of the Democratic Party and visiting community members were able to ask Baxter Bouchillon, committee chairman, and Ralph Staffins, Covington/Newton Chamber of Commerce president and committee member, questions about the 2017 SPLOST after a presentation about how the SPLOST projects were selected.

Bouchillon started the presentation by explaining the proposed SPLOST projects, which includes 85 percent of the funds going to transportation projects, debt and public safety project, with transportation funds being eligible for a Georgia Department of Transportation match.

Staffins explained that if the SPLOST passes, Newton County will be debt-free, excluding any debt that has early payment penalties.

Breaking down the SPLOST, 78 percent of the funds will be allotted to Newton County projects, while the rest of the funds will be divided between the five municipalities. The March 21 vote is an “all or nothing” vote, Staffins said. “A no vote is a vote against the cities.”

Many attendees said they were undecided on their votes and raised questions about how the SPLOST project list was developed, how the funds would be handled and if the projects could be changed.

For more information about the SPLOST, the committee created a website: