• DeKalb voters approve 1 percent tax increase to improve roads, public safety

    By: Sophia Choi


    DeKalb County voters approved a one-cent special purpose local options sales tax (SPLOST) to address transportation needs and other improvements. 

    The tax will raise more than $100 million a year.

    The money will go towards road and infrastructure improvements and public safety, including more firehouses and police cars.

    The SPLOST was tied to the Equalization Homestead Option Sales Tax, which will help cut property taxes.

    DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said he knew it was a hard sell to some with the county’s history of money mismanagement and voter apathy.


    He was out Tuesday trying to get everyone to at least go out and vote, including those in DeKalb cities who will benefit the most from the property tax breaks.

    “They will see significant tax relief as a result of this. Tax rates will drop, property tax will drop as well and they’ll benefit from new roads, sidewalks, trails, you name it,” Thurmond said.

    The law allowing a SPLOST went in the books in 1985. This is DeKalb’s first one.

    “DeKalb is probably the last county in Georgia not to approve a SPLOST for capital improvement and tax relief,” Thurmond said.

    The SPLOST will push DeKalb’s sales tax from 7 to 8 percent, tying Clayton County for the second-highest in metro Atlanta.

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