The special purpose local option sales tax, SPLOST, was enacted by Georgia legislators in 1985. It authorizes a county tax of 1 percent on items subject to sales tax for funding capital projects if approved by voters in a referendum.
In November 1996, a constitutional amendment was approved by the voters of Georgia granting local boards of education the same authorization (ELOST).
The SPLOST law has been amended to include debt service.
Both laws, SPLOST and ELOST, have been two of the best pieces of legislation passed in the past 25 years. One might say that our legislators did something right for a change.
As a result of these two laws, the landscape of Georgia has changed tremendously. Small, medium and large counties have benefited greatly with new schools, recreational centers, parks, courthouses, firehouses. libraries, improved roads, etc.
I ask: What if our legislators had not passed these laws?
Would we have been able to afford new facilities and badly needed infrastructure improvements with the burden placed on property owners? My answer is a big "No!"
We have a great list of projects with over two-thirds of the funding designated for needed infrastructure
projects and debt service. A small portion will be shared with private quality-of-life organizations and institutions, a plus for our community.
So let us registered electors go to the polls happily and vote a big ol' "Yes!"
Let not a few persuade us to vote no because there has been a disagreement with our commissioners over an issue not related to SPLOST. Also remember, the art of compromising is good politics.
We have no excuse and plenty of time: June 16 is election deadline.
Let us vote yes for a better Augusta.
Tracy E. Williams, Jr.