SPLOST

I live in Cobb County, Georgia just outside the Atlanta city limits.  Early voting began Monday on whether to extend a one percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).  By definition, the county government is supposed to use the money for special purposes.    It was many years ago that the Georgia Legislature empowered the counties to put the SPLOST on the ballot.   My recollection is that it was supposed to expire at the end of 5 years.    Each time it comes up for renewal, most county leaders argue that without it, property taxes would rise.  They say that with it  people who live outside of Cobb county and shop here or work here pay part of the cost of maintaining and improving county services.  Those opposed to renewing SPLOST say county leaders should learn to govern with less.   If  Cobb county voters reject SPLOST, the sales tax in Cobb county would drop from 6 to 5 percent.  Perhaps property taxes would rise.  It’s  battle that is fought in other local government jurisdictions as it is in Cobb.  Voters rarely say “no.”  But with the cost-cutting fever that’s in the wind, this could be the year.   Maybe not.

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