Crawford County residents will be asked to trade a tax on fire hydrants for a 1 percent sales tax.
Most of a proposed special purpose local option sales tax would go toward replacing the fire hydrant fee, which is assessed on all Crawford County properties, even those without county water service, County Manager Pat Kelly said.
The county’s water service had been losing money for years and had effectively been subsidized by the general fund. The fire hydrant fee, which is going to $20 per parcel per year, was a stop-gap measure, Kelly said. Commissioners have vowed to remove the hydrant fee if the SPLOST is approved.
Voters in the Nov. 5 election will be asked to approve general obligation bonds — a kind of loan — that would pay off about $3 million in outstanding water revenue bonds. Most of the SPLOST itself would go to pay off the new bonds.