In many Georgia counties, the government is trying to get us to raise our own taxes again. And we will probably do it. Since the eSPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) program was created in 1996, 94% of all referendums have passed. But we still need to get out and vote NO on November 3. Why? Glad you asked:
They rigged the election – Nothing illegal, but they set this election at a time when, for most residents, it is the only thing on the ballot, hoping that most people won’t know or care enough to vote. School employees, however, will all be voting ‘yes’. The official reason it is by itself (instead of on the primary ballot next spring) is because it is a complicated issue and we, the voter, wouldn’t be able to understand it if it was on the ballot with a bunch of other issues. By the way – this stunt costs the taxpayers around half a million dollars.
They intentionally mislead you – They claim that as much as 40% of this tax will come from people outside the County. This may be true (there is no way to prove this – they came up with this number by driving through parking lots and checking license plates) but it is misleading. It turns out that almost 100 percent of the counties in Georgia have passed an eSPLOST *. So it doesn’t matter where you shop, you will be paying the tax.
This is just another tax – They act like it is something special (the word ‘Special’ is in the name), but this money has just become part of their budget. As proof, they have admitted that if this tax doesn’t pass they will raise property taxes next year. Money is money, but if they can get you to vote for the tax then they can claim they didn’t raise your taxes.
Yes, it is a consumption tax, but… –
We are in favor of consumption taxes – when they are used to replace property or income taxes. But this is a consumption tax added ON TOP OF other taxes.
They are taking a chance on a low turnout election, hoping that they can promote it heavily among government employees and carry the day by keeping it quiet among regular voters. But if enough citizens decide they are taxed enough already and get out and vote we could surprise them. Save on your holiday shopping – Vote NO on eSPLOST and reduce the sales tax you pay by 15%!
*Unless you live in Burke or Towns County you are currently paying an extra 1% sales tax for eSPLOST. Here is a list of all the counties in Georgia that pay the 1% tax along with their current sales tax rate: