Sales taxes vs. property taxes

There is so much misinformation going around about T-SPLOST and E-SPLOST. Some of it is almost laughable, if it weren’t such a serious subject.
People these days just spout off about everything without knowing the facts. Then someone else jumps on the bandwagon because they think that person knows the scoop. Geeze! It’s a never-ending saga.
I’m proud of myself that I’ve pretty much learned not to respond to anyone about anything, no matter how ridiculous what was stated really is. It’s not worth the ensuing drama and some people really just don’t want to hear the truth. That’s okay with me, let them stay in their own lane and I’ll stay in mine.
Turn out for the meet and greet for candidates and information on E-SPLOST and T-SPLOST was low. Nothing unusual since it’s a primary and people don’t pay as much attention to it as they should.
I early voted last week. While standing outside talking to Kristi, a lady came up and wanted to know what they were voting on! We explained to her. She did not know there was an election for Governor, etc. this year. Then a man came up and wanted to know the same thing. Okay, people why aren’t you staying informed?
I do kind of understand. Maybe they don’t want to watch the news, any news, but you have to keep yourself informed. If those people had a subscription to our newspaper, they would have been informed if they read it. We have had information on the election, even early voting and the E-SPLOST and T-SPLOST. Not biased information, just the facts.
I have studied both E-SPLOST and T-SPLOST, even though I can’t vote on E-SPLOST in Crawford County. In listening to Supt. Brent Lowe and talking with others, I would vote for it if I could. It is only a continuation and Crawford County needs a new high school.

I followed T-SPLOST since 2010 and through the passage in some districts and not in central Georgia. That first year, I was not as well informed and quite frankly I didn’t vote for it. Wasn’t sure it was such a good thing and felt it would only benefit DOT. This year, at first, I was totally against it, but then did the research and talked with and listened to people in the know who were passionate about the outcome and got facts from people who were neither for or against.
Now that I’ve researched it and have more facts and have looked into how those districts which did pass it, have fared, I believe it to be a good thing. No one likes a new tax. But a sales tax is a way for everyone who buys anything in the county to help pay for things in the county. Sales taxes come back to the county where they are generated.
The benefits for Crawford County far outweigh any thoughts of paying an extra one cent. Roads take up about 99% of the commissioners’ time. Everyone wants their road taken care of and the T-SPLOST will help, not only with keeping roads in great shape, but can also be used for equipment and other things involved with transportation. For me, it’s a win-win.
Someone even commented that we don’t have a T-SPLOST and roads are getting paved so why do we need it. Roads may slowly be getting repaired but compared to the roads which need repairing, it’s a very small dent in a very long list. Talk to your commissioner if you need more information. Or get out and ride up and down every single road and see the problems with them. Plus, as I said the county can buy needed road equipment; anything transportation related.
Or, perhaps you’d rather that your property taxes go up even more. Counties can use the T-SPLOST monies for roads and will have to use less of its budget on roads. It will save them money and does not change funds already coming in from Georgia DOT.
Crawford County will get $8.1 million and Roberta $237,000 over the 10 years of T-SPLOST to use locally. Plus they will get $10.6 million from DOT. This comes from a formula of population and road mileage from total collected from all counties. Do the research. Crawford County would not receive that much money from sales tax on its own in 100 years. Do your research, ask questions and then decide which way to vote.
As far as E-SPLOST in Crawford County, some parents don’t want it because it puts middle schoolers on the same campus area with high schoolers. If you have more than one child at home, with one in a lower grade and one in high school, do you keep them separated all the time? I don’t think so. Plus, unless things have changed, they ride the bus together.
School officials have said they will not be together and will be segregated and it will be heavily monitored.
Remember that E-SPLOST is not an additional tax, it is just a continuation. It’s an investment in your county for education.
Just from what I have seen, something needs to be done at Eagles Nest and the high school. Extending E-SPLOST would allow for that. Yes, you would pay an additional amount of property taxes to finish the proposed plan but once completed the increased property tax goes away.
You can look it at as more taxes, or as an investment in your community for education. It’s a way for local systems to raise money without having to raise property taxes sky high and since you’re already paying it, you won’t notice any difference when you purchase something.
If you want to know more, check out YouTube and our interview with Brent Lowe from March 12. Also the school system has information on its website. Do the research and use your head when making a decision. I don’t like more taxes either but support these two this year. Next time it might be a different story, depending on what the taxes entail.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Copy Editor, Copywriting, Event Planner, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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