Walker County voters approve tax increase, Dade County says no

Walker County voters approve tax increase, Dade County says no

November 7th, 2017 by Staff Report in Breaking News

Daisey Johnson, manager for poll workers at the Rossville Civic Center, helps Chris Holder and Elisabeth Wood as they fill out information before they cast their votes Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Rossville, Ga. Four candidates were on the ballot to replace state Rep. Bruce Broadrick, R-Dalton, who retired in September.

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

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Results of Tuesday's North Georgia elections

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Election results

Walker County
Yes: 2,622
No: 1,122

Dade County
Yes: 435
No: 576

Walker County residents voted 2,622-1,122 Tuesday to implement a 1 percent increase in sales tax, while Dade County residents voted 576-435 against it.

The sales tax was the only item up for election in Dade and Walker counties, though council and commission seats were up for a vote in some cities.

In Atlanta, 12 candidates were vying in a nonpartisan race to replace term-limited Mayor Kasim Reed. Elsewhere across the state, there were seven special general legislative races, as several candidates resigned their offices mid-term to run for higher offices. Those open positions included two state Senate seats and six state House seats.

After voters shot down the tax increase, Dade County Executive Ted Rumley said the issue would be "back on the ballot in the real election. We'll have a lot more people [turning out] to vote."

Walker County T-SPLOST

› Lifetime: April 1, 2018, through March 31, 2023

› Revenue: $3 million per year

› Walker County: 75 percent ($2.25 million)

› LaFayette: 11.67 percent ($350,100)

› Rossville: 6.3 percent ($189,000)

› Chickamauga: 3.77 percent ($113,000)

› Lookout Mountain: 2.89 percent ($86,100)

› Fort Oglethorpe: 0.39 percent ($11,700)

Walker County's five-year increase will go into effect April 1. The new money will fund road improvement projects, though its timing is unfortunate for Walker County residents whose tax bill just went up by 50-70 percent.

"This is very exciting to have this much support," Commissioner Shannon Whitfield said. "I think it's a great testimonial that the citizens of Walker County are ready to move forward and they're ready to have positive change and get their roads and bridges fixed."

There isn't a plan in place to fund road projects in Walker County other than Tuesday's tax vote. This is due to tightened budgets to help pay off the county's debts. With the tax increase, it would bring in about $3 million per year, with the county keeping $2.25 million and its cities splitting the rest.

Monday night before the election, Whitfield took to Facebook Live to address residents' questions regarding the sales tax before the vote. He explained the tax would go up from 7 to 8 percent, which would still be lower than Chattanooga's 9.75 percent.

The Georgia Department of Transportation gives cities and counties a certain amount of money for road improvement projects through a grant. However, local government has to match 30 percent of that money. Additionally, if the money isn't spent within three years, it has to be returned to the state.

Tuesday's tax increase will give the county and its cities enough money to match the 30 percent and then have some left over.

Some projects the new money might go to include 10 road resurfacing projects, totaling about $1.6 million. Two of those projects cost more than $300,000. One of those is a nearly three-mile stretch of Peavine Road between the county line and Kay Conley Road. The other is a two-and-a-half-mile section of Dry Valley Road between Happy Valley Road and W. Schmitt Road.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

Dade County T-SPLOST

› Lifetime: April 1, 2018, through March 31, 2023

› Revenue: $1.8 million per year

› Dade County: 74 percent ($1.4 million)

› Trenton: 25 percent ($400,000)

North Georgia election results

Georgia State House, District 4
Eddie Caldwell: 559
Kasey Carpenter: 1267
Beau Patton: 290
Peter Pociask: 379

Ringgold Council
Randall Franks: 188
Jake Haynes: 146
Rhonda Swaney: 167
Kelly Bomar: 209

LaFayette City Council, Ward 1
Beacher Garmany: 340
Vic Burgess: 189

Walker County T-SPLOST
Yes: 2622
No: 1122

Chickamauga City Council
Doug Cogswell: 129
Randall Dalton: 310
Don Martin: 234
James Dale Powell: 91
Evitte Parrish: 337
Lance Tarvin: 206

Trenton Parks and Recreation/Animal Commissioner
Terry Powell: 183
Kenny Jeffrey: 95

Trenton Police Commissioner
Sandra Gray: 124
John Taylor: 89
Don Hicks: 78

Trenton Liquor by the Drink Referendum
Yes: 152
No: 140

Dade County T-SPLOST
Yes: 435
No: 576

Trion Mayor
Larry Stansell: 211
Tonya Abernathy: 129

Trion Town Council, Seat 1
Michael Casey Brown: 102
Jeff "Fro" Wilson: 235

Summerville Mayor
Christopher Nixon: 136
Harry Harvey: 305

Summerville City Council, Seat 1
David Ford: 228
Betty Brady: 84
Michael Anthony Mack: 133

Summerville City Council, Seat 2
Lloyd "Buddy" Windle III: 262
Robert William Patterson III: 172

Summerville Sunday Alcohol Sales Referendum
Yes: 273
No: 170

Summerville Sunday Alcohol By The Drink Referendum
Yes: 250
No: 180

Lyerly Mayor
Jim Ferguson: 69
Jimmie Hartline: 7
Jim Gilleland: 23

Lyerly Town Council, Seat 1
Juanita Baker: 66
Trudy Hartline: 15

Dalton City Council, Ward 2
Aaron Marcelli: 447
Annalee Harlan:1206

Dalton City Council, Ward 4
Gary Crews: 1188
Edgar Rincon: 500

Dalton City School Board
Sherwood Jones III: 482
Palmer Griffin: 951
John Conley: 295

Dalton City School Board
Steve Laird: 701
Matt Evans: 1113

Cohutta Town Council
Greg Fowler: 52
Sandy Clayborne: 70
Wanda Manis: 17


This story was updated Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. with more information.