Shoppers could soon pay an extra cent on purchases in Bibb County after a decision made at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

In a six to three vote, commissioners approved asking the local delegation to draft legislation that would create a new sales tax called an O-LOST.

The OLOST is similar to SPLOST and would be a penny sales tax that would generate funds for the county to use on county projects.

Two people spoke up against the tax at the meeting. One of those people was former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis. Ellis says he is concerned this could push more people to shop in Warner Robins over Macon.

“So many of our stores are closing in Macon, so to close that gap by increasing the taxes on the most vulnerable because regardless of your income, whether you make $1000 a day or a $1000 a month, we all have to go to Kroger and we all have to eat and we all have to pay those taxes,” says Ellis.

Commissioner Gary Bechtel says this could actually help those tax payers living in Bibb County.

Bechtel says this would allow the county to roll back the millage rate based on the money they collect from the sales tax.

“It's a way to get property tax relief and have those who live outside the county, who travel here for work or to eat and/or to stay or for an event, to pay for that sale tax and then offer some relief for those who have homestead here,” says Bechtel.

But before you could see this tax on your next purchase, the legislation would still have to be approved in the general assembly and then be approved by voters in the November election.
Right now, the sales tax in Bibb County is 7 cents, but if this goes through the general assembly, people would be voting to add 2 cents on top of that.

There is a vote on a transportation sales tax in May, and people could vote on the O-LOST come November.

County approves changes to Bowden Golf Course

Bibb County is driving forward with plans to renovate Bowden Golf Course.

Tuesday, Bibb Commissioners also approved a 5-year plan for the historic course.

Bowden's General Manager, Brandon Doles, says they are going to use SPLOST funding to upgrade parts of the course. Doles says some of the changes are renovating the greens, bunkers and reshaping the holes.

“This place hasn’t been updated in a long time, and I think it’s going to be a very good face life for this place. I think the green surfaces being updated will bring in more people and get more players out here,” says Doles.

Doles says the next step is to put the design out to bid.

Eagle Scouts contribute to Macon parks

Four new additions are coming to parks in Bibb County all thanks to Eagle Scouts.

Commissioners approved four Eagle Scout projects that will go in parks across the county. One of those is a new climbing structure that Chandler Pipkins created for Oak Haven Park.

Pipkins says he is hoping the new feature will give kids in the Vineville neighborhood something fun to do.

“It’s mostly just for climbing, but it also fits in with the neighborhood. We’re making it out of timber, so it’s not going to be a big eyesore, so it's not a big piece of plastic out here. It’s really going to help beautify the area,” says Pipkins.

Pipkins says he is in the process of ordering the pieces.