In many Georgia counties, the government is trying to get us to raise our own taxes again. And we will probably do it. Since the eSPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) program was created in 1996, 94% of all referendums have passed. But we still need to get out and vote NO on November 3. Why? Glad you asked:
They rigged the election – Nothing illegal, but they set this election at a time when, for most residents, it is the only thing on the ballot, hoping that most people won’t know or care enough to vote. Some people voting in City elections will actually have to attend a different polling place to vote against the tax! School employees, however, will all be voting ‘yes’. The official reason it is by itself (instead of on the primary ballot next spring) is because it is a complicated issue and we, the voter, wouldn’t be able to understand it if it was on the ballot with a bunch of other issues. By the way – this stunt costs the taxpayers around half a million dollars *.
They intentionally mislead you – They claim that as much as 40% of this tax will come from people outside the County. This may be true (there is no way to prove this – they came up with this number by driving through parking lots and checking license plates) but it is misleading. It turns out that almost 100 percent of the counties in Georgia have passed an eSPLOST **. So it doesn’t matter where you shop, you will be paying the tax.
This is just another tax – They act like it is something special (the word ‘Special’ is in the name), but this money has just become part of their budget. As proof, they have threatened to try and raise our property taxes if this SPLOST doesn’t pass. Money is money, but if they can get you to vote for the tax then they don’t have to fight the battle later.
Yes, it is a consumption tax, but… – We are in favor of consumption taxes – when they are used to replace property or income taxes. But this is a consumption tax added ON TOP OF other taxes.
They are taking a chance on a low turnout election, hoping that they can promote it heavily among government employees and carry the day by keeping it quiet among regular voters. But if enough citizens decide they are taxed enough already and get out and vote we could surprise them. Save on your holiday shopping – Vote NO on eSPLOST and reduce the sales tax you pay by 15%!
* Note that the current ‘Special’ tax does not expire until June of 2017! They could have easily saved $500,000 by putting the question on the primary or general ballots next year. But they are afraid that if enough people see it they might lose the vote. By making a special election they are hoping that the government employees will be the only ones voting.
12 thoughts on “Vote ‘NO’ on eSPLOST”
We have already voted in Cumming, Forsyth County for the Nov. 3, 2015 election. There was no tax item on the ballot.
It is up for approval in a number of counties all over Georgia. If it is not on the ballot in your county then it means you have already passed it. There are only two counties that don’t have the eSPLOST (Burke and Towns). Everyone else is paying an extra 1% eSPLOST tax. Surprised?
What County is this? This is not posted in Forsyth Co.
If this is the case, I would have your Sheriff shut this down in the short term.
This things always pass, go figure.
You should re-write laws so that whoever votes for these things are held liable for them. In other words, if SPLOST fails to pay the debt, you could go after each individual voter who voted for it.
We are not a Democracy.
Unless you are in Burke or Towns county, you are paying the 1% eSPLOST tax. If it is not on the ballot this time it will be on another ballot soon at a time when they can keep turnout low. But you have to watch closely because they will not advertise it.
Gwinnett County is voting on the SPLOST on November 3rd. I am working one of the precincts. I have already voted early since I am a precinct worker. I, too, voted NO! I am tired of “extending” SPLOST programs. They promise it will have a finite period of assessment. Then, here comes the next election and it is on the ballot AGAIN. Today, I also received an email targeting my HOA since I am an officer on our HOA Board. I plan on sending a strong reply as to my opposition to this SPLOST.
I work for a school system in GA for over 20 years. I’m a paraprofessional with a few other odd jobs in the system. It’s sad that we don’t make enough money to live on. We are taxed to death! If something happens to my husband,I would be able to get food stamps and other govt. assistants! (If I quit my job) I WILL NOT be voted for this this year!
Some of your facts are a bit of a lie…If a county already has esplost, there will not be an increase in the tax rate, just a renewal of what is already in place. The timing of the vote also ensures that there is not a gap in the flow of funds. I will be voting YES. Why? Ensuring that our future is properly educated in this age of change should be the biggest concern of all citizens.
Voters agreed to a “Special” tax (the ‘S’ in eSPLOST) that would be temporary. So based on our agreement with the government they would only take the tax for 5 years. Now they are asking us to vote for a NEW “Special” tax. I see this as an increase in taxes.
Let’s say you bought a car, and agreed to 48 payments of $200 each. Near the end of the payment period the car company tells you they want another 48 months of $200 payments. You would argue that they are raising the price of the car based on your original agreement. But by your logic the car company would say “Not so! You are already paying $200 a month so we are not raising the price.”
As to the timing issue – the Special tax will not expire until June of 2017! They could have saved $500,000 by simply putting it on the primary (or general) ballots next year. But they knew that if enough people voted it might fail, so they put it on at this time in hopes of being able to have their employees vote it in without letting the taxpayers know what was happening.
to Ryan: 165,000 students @ $10,000 each, equals $1.65 BILLION dollars (that is 65% of your property taxes that goes to fund this operation, FYI). The current rate of graduation is under 60%. Gwinnett residents are losing $660 MILLION of their “concern”, as you put it, to *educate*. Just how much more money is required of us to reach a 95% graduation rate in Gwinnett county? How much are you, Ryan, willing to simply voluntarily hand over in a check to Gwinnett County to “properly educate” the future? The numbers I’ve posted above are easily obtained from the web.
Isaac…More poor facts. Based on the GA DOE website GCPS has a graduation rate of 75% (far above your stated amount of below 60%). I am willing to continue to give 1% to continue funding the excellent schools that are in Gwinnett. Gwinnett educates 10% of the students of the state of GA, while only 8-9% of the state’s total population resides in Gwinnett. Gwinnett operates on the same budget as Fulton County, but educates twice as many students. The students who comprise GCPS are ever increasingly part of the free and reduced lunch population. 2003-04 school saw a free and reduced population of 30%, the current population, while increasing 50,000 students, is currently 55.7% free and reduced.
Am I willing to give 1% of the money I spend to support schools that have continuously improved and have been recognized as an exceptional school system? Yes. 1% of what I spend is a cheap investment into great schools that bring great businesses that bring more residents to this great county. (More poor facts: GCPS has a per pupil expenditure of $8200 not $10,000. Also, the millage rate of 19.8 for the school system is 55% of the residential millage rate.)
Admin…The agreement is special…no where have I read the word temporary. Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. Using your metaphor, if the car company agreed to a $200 payment for 48 months and I agreed to make that payment and then had the option after 48 months to continue with the understanding that my $200 was now being used for a new car why would I have an issue with that? This money is not used for daily operating costs, but instead for the building of new schools/classrooms as well as updating technology in all schools. Much like my new $200 payment would be for a newer car, this money will be used for newer equipment and schools.
I’m sorry that you feel the schools in Gwinnett are not earning their keep. GCPS is one of the best run, highest achieving, and continually improving districts in the nation. But that cannot be done without the support of the greater community. My hope is that we all begin to appreciate the wonderful school district that is in Gwinnett and begin to find ways to further support this system for the betterment of our entire county.
$8200 per student is correct. And if you would like to have control of where your state spend money on education. May I suggest SSO GOAL. One can redirect taxes of $1,000 per individual, $2,500 or $10,000 for business. This has been beneficial for me and my family as we’re across the lake in Hall county and some of the schools are a hit but some are a real miss. http://WWW.goalscholarship.org
The Georgia Goal program (actually called the Georgia Education Expense Credit program) is outstanding. You can actually make money if you are lucky enough to get permission to participate in the program by writing the donation off on your federal taxes. Encourage your legislator to expand the program!
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