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DeKalb CEO Pushes To Repave Roads With Possible New Tax

May 17, 2017
Alison Guillory / WABE

DeKalb County's CEO is looking to drum up support for a new sales tax.

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If voters approve a one-penny sales tax referendum, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said it could generate almost half a billion dollars in the next five years. He wants to use a lot of that money to improve roads.

McAfee Rd passes over the Buena Vista Lake Dam in Decatur (Dekalb County).
Alison Guillory / WABE

Hundreds of miles of roads in DeKalb County will have to wait on special funds for resurfacing until state lawmakers can change a wording error in state law.

DeKalb County Commissioners voted this week against putting a special penny sales tax on November’s ballot because if the tax was approved, it would trigger an end to some property tax breaks for homeowners because of how one two-page state bill had been written. 

It's been tumultuous at times, according to DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May, but he said last year's property tax cut shows the county is headed in the right direction as he looks ahead to his final months.

May, after having announced he won’t run for the office again, delivered his last State of the County address Thursday.

To hear May tell it, DeKalb County has gone from drained budgets during the recession to today's stronger bond ratings. That proves DeKalb County is strong.