More than 69,000 voters cast ballots in DeKalb County for the Nov. 7 General Election, passing the county’s next Special Option Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) with an overwhelming ‘yes’ while also electing mayors and city council members.
With the passage of the latest SPLOST referendum, known as SPLOST II, by more than 44,900 voters (approximately 74 percent of those who participated in this election cycle voted ‘yes’), the county will once again collect the tax for another six years.
Sometimes known as the penny sales tax, SPLOST is an optional one percent county sales tax used to fund capital outlay projects proposed by the county government and participating qualified municipal governments, according to the county’s website. DeKalb County officials said SPLOST II is expected to generate approximately $850 million for transportation, public safety and recreational services and projects.
DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond has already discussed where some of the funding would go if SPLOST II passed, including a $7.5 million proposed allocation to LifeLine Animal Project, the nonprofit that is in charge of both DeKalb and Fulton counties’ animal services.
Voters also approved DeKalb County’s Equalized Homestead Option Sales and Use Tax (EHOST) this election cycle. “EHOST is a one percent sales and use tax used to provide property tax relief for homeowners,” stated officials. “Proceeds from EHOST are 100 percent dedicated to rolling back property taxes on homestead exempt properties.”
DeKalb County’s smallest city will be welcoming a new mayor after voters elected Brandy Hall, with 58 percent of the votes, as the new leader of Pine Lake.
While the city of Brookhaven also had a mayoral race on the ballot, no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, sending the race into a runoff election on Dec. 5 between H.J. “John” Park, who received approximately 43 percent of the total ballots cast and Lauren Keifer, who received approximately 30 percent of the total ballots cast.
“Thanks to everyone for voting, for volunteering, for donating and for all your support,” said Park. “We are in a strong position, having received the most votes in a four-way race.”
Voters in Doraville and Stonecrest re-elected their incumbent mayors; Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman received approximately 69 percent of the total ballots cast while Stonecrest Mayor Jazzmin Cobble received approximately 67 percent of the total ballots cast.
“Thank you, Doraville, for your support,” said Geierman. “It has been an honor to be part of the remarkable transformation Doraville has experienced.”
“The voters of Stonecrest have truly expressed their confidence in the work we have done for our beloved city over the last year, when I was sworn in as mayor,” said Cobble. “I am immensely thankful to the voters expression of confidence in me to remain their mayor (for) four more years. This campaign was never about me. It was about the work we have done to reform, restore and rebuild our amazing city. (In) the next four years, we will remain true to the work of building a connected community.”
According to the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections office, DeKalb County saw a 13.77 percent turnout with 134,756 ballots cast.
For full election results, visit https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/voter-registration-elections/election-results-1.