First off, SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. It’s an additional tax that’s added to the sales tax that voters vote on. The proposed tax always comes with a project list that it would support. E-SPLOST is an educational SPLOST, and T-SPLOST is a transportation SPLOST.
I’m against both of the taxes that are coming up for vote/renewal for different reasons.
I’m against the E-SPLOST because of the way our county operates it’s budget and has managed the previous E-SPLOST. I’m sure many will vote ‘yes’ on this for the sole reason that it has to do with funding going to education. But before one votes to give them another check to spend as they see fit, they need to look at the prior projects that E-SPLOST has provided. It’s almost a running joke around everyone in the entire county how they just can’t seem to ever have enough schools built. I don’t even know the number of schools we have now, because every time you turn around, another $20-30M school is being built. We’re to the point that we’re neglecting the older schools to give way for a future project-that project being to tear down and replace the neglected school rather than go the cheaper route and maintain the school. I went to the school that I’m talking about, and even though it’s been over 10 years ago, there is no way that it would be to the point that it is unsafe for the children if they had not ignored maintenance for so long. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that one of the contractors for all of these new schools has some ties to those that propose these sort of taxes on the voters.
I’m against the T-SPLOST because it’s a regional tax. My county, Whitfield County, would be a donor county, meaning that it’s citizens would be paying more in taxes than they would be receiving back through projects in their own county. This tax only makes sense if you are one of the poorer counties, and even then, it doesn’t make it right. These regional type proposals are nothing but disastrous. They are wealth distribution at it’s finest. If county A has transportation projects, let it introduce a tax for it’s voters only to cover the expense of the projects that they would be taking advantage of. If county B does, then same goes for it, and so on and so forth. We don’t need our officials taking money from one group and granting it to another.
And then in general, I’m against both of these taxes for the reason that it’s a bad time to be imposing taxes on anyone. Taxes inhibit economic growth. By letting the E-SPLOST tax expire, and not allowing the T-SPLOST tax to be imposed on us, there will be a slight bit of relief to the people.
Our county keeps talking about having to take money from reserves if the taxes don’t pass, but let me tell you this. Cut out your pet projects, those projects that are nothing more than favors to get you re-elected, and you won’t have to be raising taxes or taking from reserves. Look at how our population may be on the decline, due both to the immigration law and the pitiful economy, and you may also see that building new school after new school makes no sense, unless you want some vacant school buildings in the years to come.
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