I really can’t believe the commercials I am seeing on television regarding the transportation special-purpose local option sales tax referendum to fix our roads and bridges. If you have traveled to other states, such as South Carolina, you have to admit our roads are not that bad. That this referendum is up for consideration shows that we still have our priorities confused.
I have a few suggestions instead of TSPLOST:
• ESPLOST – a special sales tax to keep our teachers employed, our schools open and our children’s education guaranteed.
• PSPLOST – a special sales tax to hire adequate police protection so existing officers are paid adequate wages and are not overworked and burnt out.
• FSPLOST – a special sales tax to increase the equipment for fire departments and to pay these heroes a livable salary, so they don’t have to moonlight to make ends meet.
• HSPLOST – to help provide health care for the uninsured that everyone is fighting about right now.
Do we really need to put the condition of our roads ahead of these urgent needs? We had a SPLOST for the counties to fund new buildings, new buses and recreational equipment. Now we have some counties laying off teachers but building elaborate schools appearing in Architectural Digest while they still have buses that are not air-conditioned.
I heard one county spent SPLOST money to build an extremely nice swimming pool that is only open weekdays from 1 to 4 p.m., which means the working parents who paid for the pool will not have the opportunity to take their families to use it.
Until our political leaders get their priorities straight everyone should vote “no” for the TSPLOST. This is an additional tax that will help a few in the construction business, while many go without the essential services we are supposed to be guaranteed.
Maybe we need to get rid of all the other taxes, such as income taxes, property taxes and ad valorem taxes, and have one sales tax that covers everything. Then the tax structure would be fair. Everyone pays the same and no one is penalized for the income they make or the property they own.