SUWANEE -- A local woman told school board members at Thursday's meeting she planned to vote 'no' on an upcoming extension of the 1-cent education sales tax.
Laura Vladick talked on behalf of a group that showed up at the month's regular business meeting to speak their piece on the upcoming special purpose local option sales tax. Among other things, Vladick said there was "a lack of transparency of information."
At least one Gwinnett County Public Schools official, however, called the remarks "puzzling.
"In order to do this, we have to lay out everything we're going to do," Board Chairman Robert McClure said.Vladick and McClure went back and forth regarding the upcoming vote on the education SPLOST IV.
Voters will decide Nov. 8 whether to continue a penny-tax that's funded additions and renovations to schools as well as technology and transportation three times running.
The current one-cent sales tax for education expires on June 30. If approved, SPLOST IV would collect from July 1 through June 30, 2017. In total, the tax could collect $876 million.
During the past three iterations of SPLOST, voters have approved the tax by 60- and 70-percent, allowing public schools to collect hundreds of millions of earmarked dollars.
At Thursday's meeting, Vladick said she was concerned that the list of earmarked projects wasn't binding, "meaning it won't change."
McClure responded that the law "is crystal clear on what we can and cannot do. I know of no other tax in my lifetime where an elected official has to give the taxpayers a list like this one ... I don't know how we could be more transparent about this."
Board member Mary Kay Murphy said she hoped to meet with members of Vladick's organization at some point to discuss the upcoming SPLOST.
"Transparency works both ways," Murphy said. "I hope we can work together on this."