Though voter turnout was generally low at less than four-percent, those who voted “yes” to the tax were significantly higher than those opposed.
Throughout the county, at 12 precincts, a meager 1,635 ballots were cast out of 41,804 registered voters. There were 1,193 votes for the special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) and 442 votes against.
“We have a lot of people come out for big presidential election, but for a small election we never have a big turnout,” said county elections official Tonya Moore. “It was very low.”
The highest number of votes cast for the county election was at the Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe precincts, according to Moore. Approximately 281 votes were tallied in Ringgold, and Fort Oglethorpe had 329. The lowest turnout was at the Duncan Park precinct where only 44 citizens voted out of 2,353 registered voters, less than two-percent.
The county election will extend the current SPLOST, which is set to end in 2014, for another five years. Projected revenue from the tax is $60 million.
Divided amongst the county, Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe this, revenue will help fund capital projects. Fort Oglethorpe stands to gain $7,150,000, Ringgold $2,300,000 and needed sewer system upgrades between the two cities amounts to $12,400,000.
The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department has designated $2,108,000 toward vehicle and equipment upgrades during the lifespan of the SPLOST cycle.
The county has also designated $9 million toward roads and bridges and $2,200,000 for the courthouse renovation.