Qualifying for local political races set for Monday through Friday

Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson

ALBANY — The Albany-Dougherty T-SPLOST referendum cleared its final hurdle after getting approval late last week from the Dougherty County Board of Elections. The referendum will be the single item on a special election ballot set for March 19.

Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said recently that the cost of running the special election would be “between $40,000 and $60,000.”

So who pays for it?

“The county and city will share the cost based on the split (of proceeds) agreed to earlier,” County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said.

That split, 67-33, means the city will pay 67 percent of the cost, while the county will kick in 33 percent.

“It’s really not that big of a deal,” Cohilas added.

The County Commission approved an intergovernmental agreement on the transportation special-purpose local-option sales tax during a called meeting Jan. 18. The city followed with its approval on Tuesday of last week.

County Attorney Spencer Lee petitioned the county Board of Elections for the referendum to be placed on a special ballot, as state law requires..

Officials project the T-SPLOST, if approved by voters, will generate $80 million over its five-year span. Based on the agreed-upon 67-33 split, the city would receive $53.6 million in allocations, while the county would get $26.4 million.

If approved by the county’s voters, all funds generated by the additional 1 percent sales tax are earmarked toward transportation improvements.

Writer with The Albany Herald.

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