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OUR VIEW: Penny tax for schools benefits all

In November, Gwinnett residents will vote on a penny sales tax to help fund ongoing capital projects in the schools systems in Gwinnett County.

On previous votes in 1997, 2002 and 2006 voters gave their approval. For the sake of the children -- and the whole of this county -- the next vote should produce the same results.

The Gwinnett County Public Schools system and Buford City Schools have announced they'll place SPLOST IV, a one-cent special purpose local option sales tax, on the November ballot.

The first Gwinnett SPLOST was approved by voters in 1997 and the ensuing revenue was used to build classrooms, provide instructional technology and pay debt.

On two more occasions, Gwinnett voted to continue this funding stream. November's approval would extend the penny tax through mid-2017 and raise an estimated $859 million for GCPS and $17 million for Buford schools.

For GCPS, the funds are intended to build five new schools (two elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school) and fund additions, renovations and modernizations on several other GCPS campuses.

Schools of late have been hit hard with funding cuts, forcing educators to scramble to cover operating costs. Schools are already feeling the squeeze. Losing the penny sales tax would further strain school coffers by making them look to alternative funding, namely borrowing, for needed capital projects.

While growth in student population within Gwinnett schools has slowed of late, it is still growing. The need for more classrooms and modernization of existing classrooms marches on.

Gwinnett County is known for a strong, successful school system. Student success stories, test score results and the awarding of the national Broad Prize provide ample evidence of GCPS success. The schools are a big part of what makes Gwinnett great -- not just for kids, but for all county residents.

The vote is more than three months away. But it's not too early to resolve support for this key element of Gwinnett County. Support your children by supporting the school systems charged with educating them. Vote yes in November.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact. Corrections usually run on Page 4A.

Comments

FactChecker 3 years ago

The schools would benefit, but at what cost? Gwinnett County Board of Education does not collect taxes directly but must pay the cost of collection. This cost is a much higher percentage of the amount collected than the costs of property tax collection. Property tax is the most reasonable method of collecting revenue for schools that is allowed by law. We need to move away from the idea of sales tax which is disproportionately burdensome on the poorest in our society.

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R 2 years, 10 months ago

With all the new sales taxes we will all face in 2012 from the Gold Dome and possibly at the Federal Level, perhaps it’s time to take a break on this folks and VOTE NO.

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snellvillemike 2 years, 10 months ago

Vote yes, if not, then the property tax will increase

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kevin 2 years, 7 months ago

apparently the more schools that are built in Gwinnett, the more school families there will be. The more school families there are may soon top over 50% of the electorate, which means they will always get school funding bills passed at other people's expense. Will have to live in a smaller school system county to beat these voters.

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kevin 2 years, 3 months ago

How in the world is this benefiting someone over 60 yrs old?

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pcjohn 2 years, 3 months ago

Adjust the salaries of all teachers, administrators, etc downward to reflect the fact that they DO NOT (!) work a full year like the rest of society. Those savings might provide enough money to obviate the need for another SPLOST to fill the rathole that is the GCPS.

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richtfan 2 years, 3 months ago

When new taxes get voted in, they rarely sunset. This is why we should NOT approve this new tax. It'll never go away. Lazy, entitled school administrators will always whine about having to do more with less, but guess what---that's the way of the world. Get over it. Schools are NOT entitled to pick my pocket just so they can keep from having to reduce their staff due to lower enrollment.

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jack 2 years, 3 months ago

richtfan- "this new tax" was already approved last November.

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Penny tax for schools benefits all by harleybk 2 years, 9 months ago

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