Pros and cons of special purpose local option sales tax

Saturday, March 3, 2012 6:21 PM
Last updated 8:00 PM
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SALES TAX REFERENDUM

Richmond County voters will decide Tuesday whether to pass Phase IV of the special purpose local option sales tax, which would fund $130 million in projects approved by the Board of Education.

WHAT PROPONENTS ARE SAYING

• You have been paying a 1-cent sales tax for school capital projects since 1997. This would just be a continuation of that tax.

• It’s not just about construction. The sales tax money buys technology for all Richmond County schools. It also pays to repair and buy buses and help with transportation costs.

• Everyone pays. Because it’s a sales tax, people who don’t pay property tax or income taxes still contribute to the sales tax when they make purchases. That is also true for people who don’t live in Richmond County but shop here.

• It would improve schools. Benton Starks, the county school system’s facilities director, said his department would have no other way to build buildings and pay for renovations to schools without the tax.

“If the SPLOST doesn’t pass, schools as we know it would change drastically,” Starks said. “That’s what’s been keeping us afloat all these years.”

• The tax controls maintenance costs at schools. The tax money pays to replace and repair roofs and HVAC units. Without the tax, the facilities department would run out of money in its budget for repairs. The money would most likely have to come out of the district’s general fund, which pays for operating expenses such as teacher salaries.

WHAT OPPONENTS ARE SAYING

A tax is a tax. The sales tax adds 1 cent to all purchases. Richmond County Republican Committee Chairman Bob Finnegan said there is a section of residents who “are tired of being 1-cented to death.” In the summer, they will vote on another 1-cent tax, the transportation special purpose local option sales tax, which funds transportation projects and roads.

“Nobody wants to deny the schools anything they absolutely positively need, but then again, they have a significant budget,” Finnegan said. “To turn around and ask for more when they’re cutting jobs – I can see why some would be against that.”

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DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 03/03/12 - 10:10 pm
1
0
What? The sales tax adds

What? The sales tax adds 1cent to all purchases? No....it adds 1 percent to all purchases. In Augusta, there are three 1% sales taxes. A local option tax, a SPLOST, and an education tax. Those three taxes go with the 4% state sales tax. That makes 7% that gets added to everything you purchase except for most foods. You still pay the 3% sales tax on food. But if you vote to keep these taxes, then do not travel to South Carolina for lower prices. The price difference is because of the sales taxes that you voted to keep.

cozzster
50
Points
cozzster 03/04/12 - 07:58 am
0
0
lol stop whining about sales
Unpublished

lol stop whining about sales tax...maybe if the south wasn't chock full of state mooching baby mama's and dad's, there would be enough money to go around

Little Lamb
62608
Points
Little Lamb 03/04/12 - 03:07 pm
0
0
We are being pennied to death

We are being pennied to death — and DuhJudge is correct to be incensed about calling this a penny tax. There are citizens in this community who, through no fault of their own, might actually believe this nonsense propaganda put out that the tax is “just a penny.”

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent; please ask for the ballot of your choice on Tuesday and vote NO! on the SPLOST tax.

Look on the bright side, your sales taxes would actually go down. You would be paying 7% in Columbia Co., 7% in Burke Co., but only 6% in Richmond Co. if this tax referendum is defeated.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 03/04/12 - 03:37 pm
0
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Dichotomy- there is another

Dichotomy- there is another gas tax you left out. It is the First Motor Fuel Tax and is another 7.5¢ per gallon. This is the tax that allows the D.O.T. to do its job without depending on the legislature. It is why we have some of the best roads in the country. The state and local taxes are : 7.5 + 12.1 + 9.099 = 28.699 cents per gallon. South Carolina charges only 16¢ per gallon. They do not add a sales tax to gasoline. But as I said, if you live in Georgia then buy your gas in Georgia. Especially if you vote for those taxes.

Little Lamb
62608
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/12 - 10:39 am
0
0
Today is Monday. Tomorrow is

Today is Monday. Tomorrow is election day in Georgia. If you are a registered voter in Richmond County, please vote NO! on this SPLOST referendum tomorrow.

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