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Could SPLOST Help With Pay Raises For Law Enforcement? One Local Rep Says 'Yes'

Georgia should discuss allowing local governments to use a portion of the revenue generated through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for increasing the pay for public safety officials on the local level— That was an idea shared by State House Rep J. Collins on Wednesday.
 
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently proposed a 20-percent pay raise for state law enforcement, leaving sheriffs and deputies saying ‘what about us?’
 
Local law enforcement is paid through local taxes.
 
If county governments were to use money generated through the 1-cent SPLOST, the rules for SPLOST usage would have to be changed by state legislators. Collins says he wants to be in on that discussion:
 
“There are a lot of SPLOST dollars generated for local government and I’d like to be a part of some discussions to allow part of that money to go to fund pay raises for public safety all the way around—  not just in the form of law enforcement but firemen as well,” Collins told WLBB Radio Wednesday. “There has to be more done to bring that pay scale up to be more competitive with more careers— you’re asking someone to put their life on the line. I think the real challenge for state and local government is going to be funding those pay increases that have desperately been needed for decades.”
 
The Georgia Sheriff’s Association has suggested that a new one cent tax be considered to go toward salaries on the local level. But, Collins says he is not in favor of a new tax:
 
“The mechanism is already in place we just need the legislation that would allow that money to be spent in this way,” Collins said. “You look at local governments and they are spending money on recreation, court houses, government buildings, administrative buildings— and they are using the SPLOST money to do that. “In my mind, if they need that money to fund pay raises for peace officers… why not?”
 
Locally, Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley has agreed that state officers deserve the pay raises but he has also expressed concern that the new raises for state level officers will make it even harder for him to keep quality officers on the local level, as they will get  their education here and move on to those better paying jobs.
 
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Location : Carroll CountyGeorgia