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Sales tax vote heads to polls
Camden and McIntosh county residents will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on referendum questions that could determine funding for dozens of municipal improvement projects and education.

A vote "yes" in each county would be to keep the sales tax at 7 percent, 1 percent more than what consumers pay in Glynn County.

In Camden County, voters will consider continuing a 1-percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that is expected to generate as much as $65 million over the next six years.

The county will receive 27.9 percent of the tax after it receives the first $5.3 million in revenue collected for county-wide projects that would pay for improvements to communications and data sharing systems, new ambulances and an enhanced hurricane evacuation route along Colerain Road.

Other county projects include $1.1 million for county buildings and offices, $7.2 million for roads, bridges and drainage, and $8.2 million for vehicles and equipment.

St. Marys, which will receive 29.8 percent of the tax revenue, will spend its share for roads and sidewalks, drainage and improvements to city facilities such as rebuilding the wall surrounding Oak Grove Cemetery, improvements at City Hall and painting the exterior at Orange Hall, an antebellum mansion owned by the city.

Kingsland, which will get 27.8 percent, will spend its share on water and sewer projects, sidewalks, paving and equipment.

Woodbine, which will receive 7 percent of the revenue, did not have a project list on its website.

McIntosh County voters will go to the polls to consider an Education SPLOST that, if approved by voters, will generate as much as $8.5 million over the five years it is collected.

McIntosh Schools superintendent Tina Kirby said the money will be used to build a new elementary school, renovate existing facilities and add new technology. It also will be used to purchase music, vocational and physical education equipment, as we as new vehicles and property.

Kirby said the vote is for a continuation of a tax that has been supported by residents in the past but conceded the vote on Tuesday will likely not have the support it has had in past referendums because of the economy.

"I think this one will be more difficult," she predicted. "I think people understand we need a new school, buses and other equipment. It would cripple the system (if the referendum is rejected by voters)."

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about government and other local topics. Contact him at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 323.

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