Local Republicans and Columbia County officials gathered at Fatz Cafe Saturday expecting to hear a speech from the Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
The meeting didn't go as planned when fog prevented Cagle's plane from landing at Augusta's Daniel Field.
Instead, county commissioners Ron Thigpen, Tommy Mercer and Scott Dean discussed issues facing residents, including the proposed renewal of the special purpose local option sales tax.
"I think it is even more important to us, in this economic environment, to recognize that the funding for county government has shifted from property owners to SPLOST (the sales tax)," Thigpen said.
The proposed 1-cent tax, up for renewal in November, includes funding for projects in transportation, stormwater, recreation, buildings, public safety and emergency services. "The tax money being spent on stormwater is spent doing repair work to keep us out of litigation," Mercer said, after he recounted a story of nearly falling into a creek.
The commissioners emphasized that the tax is about meeting community needs like transportation projects, which might need as much as 51 percent of the tax money.
"We have some things that we have to find a way to do," Dean said. "Whether we do them through SPLOST or the property tax, they have to get done."
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