The County has a group sending out slick mail pieces and putting up signs promoting the SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales TAX). This is understandable, since a few well connected groups will make hundreds of millions of dollars if it passes. Unfortunately there is nobody being paid to present the other side.
One of the legitimate functions of government is to provide infrastructure. Roads, bridges and the like. But back in the eighties the county decided they wanted to spend more than they collected in taxes. The county politicians knew that if they voted to raise our taxes that you would vote them out of office. So they worked with their politician friends downtown to come up with a scheme to get US to vote for our own tax increase. And we have been falling for it ever since.
Money they collect from a tax that WE voted for is money that they don’t have to take from their general fund and use for roads, so they get to spend the ‘regular’ tax money somewhere else. Like employee bonuses, social programs, and busses that nobody rides.
So why not have a SPLOST for a bus service that loses millions of dollars a year? Because they know it wouldn’t pass. If they say it is for roads they know we will fall for it. If the school system didn’t have their own tax revenue, you can bet the county would say that the extra taxes were for the children.
The SPLOST is a regressive tax, which means that it benefits rich people. They get to pay lower property taxes, while people just getting by will have to pay more for everything they buy – even groceries.
The county says that as much as 40% of the SPLOST money comes from outside the County, but when all the surrounding Counties also have a SPLOST it doesn’t matter – we pay the higher tax no matter where we shop.
We almost never get the chance to vote to LOWER our taxes, but that is exactly what the county is giving us on the 2016 ballot. I hope we all take advantage of the opportunity and vote ‘NO’ on SPLOST.