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OUR VIEW: Make your voice heard on SPLOST

At Tuesday’s meeting the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners is expected to issue a call for a SPLOST referendum to be placed on the Nov. 5 ballot. Anticipating that, the county announced it will hold an organizational meeting on Aug. 26 for those interested in participating on the Citizens Project Selection Committee for transportation projects.

Though not everyone is enthralled with the special purpose local option sales tax, we believe it is a good way for Gwinnett to keep up its infrastructure and is a critical component in trying to manage the county’s traffic situation (70 percent of this newest SPLOST, an estimated $275 million, will go toward transportation).

We also believe in the importance of taking part in the Aug. 26 meeting, which will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Time and again, citizens complain about not having input into county decisions while overlooking meetings like this one.

The money will go toward specific improvements in Gwinnett. It is your county and your roads. This meeting is a chance for the decisions to also include your voice.

Members and alternates representing six major interest groups for the committee will be selected at this meeting. Four members will represent homeowners (one from each commission district) and there will be one representative selected to represent the following: business community, environmental stakeholders, schools, civic organizations and the county’s senior population.

“The committee’s immediate role will be to review and prioritize prospective project categories and to share information with the interest groups,” Gwinnett Transportation Director Kim Conroy said. “In addition, members will help maintain an open line of communication between county government and the public and help maximize the benefits of the sales tax proceeds.”

If it passes, the latest SPLOST will take effect next year on March 31, when the previous one expires. It would end in 2017 and is projected to raise an estimated $498 million. The majority of that amount would go toward transportation projects, including roads, bridges, intersection improvements and sidewalks.

Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said its imperative that the county receive input from all segments of Gwinnett. This is your chance to make your voice heard. We urge you to take advantage of that on Aug. 26.

Comments

MrGreenSpace 8 months ago

Ranking up there with Centerville, my home turf inside the Cruse/Club Corridor can be classified as one of Gwinnett's forgotten pockets for returns of the SPLOST investments. We've learned that if you don't show up, you don't count for having a seat at the table (in terms of representation). In fact, it took SEVEN cycles of SPLOST before our corridor (sandwiched in between two CID's) got ANY dollar return of penny sales tax funding. I can with assurance tell you that we'll be there again for the organizational electoral meeting because we still have some improvements to make in arrears. See this YouTube for example that's less than two minutes in duration. See you there!

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kevin 8 months ago

I am going to make it to listen to what the BOC really wants to do. I am sure that as usual, they have already made up their minds on what they will spend the money on. I am just sick and tired of voluntarily taxing myself. From what I hear folks saying, they are also. Enough is enough. Just make the sales tax 1% higher by law and forget all this expensive advertising and pushing at election time. I'm done with voting for these special taxes. There is no regards for seniors, the unemployed, and under employed when it comes to taking money from folks. They could care less.

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Why_not 8 months ago

Anyone interested should go to the meeting and volunteer to serve on one of the advisory groups. I have done this in the past and was surprised at the work that goes into determining all factors involved in the decision making process. Citizen advisory groups are a valuable asset to everyone living within the county.

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Jan 8 months ago

Does anyone really care? Two problems with sales tax: 1. It is the most expensive method of taxation. In Georgia, retailers get a kickback for collecting the tax; even with this kickback, many retailers complain that it costs them more to collect than they are paid for processing the tax. If the tax is raised by increasing millage rate on property, then their is no increase in collection costs. 2. It puts excessive burden on the less fortunate. The higher ones income, the lower the percentage of income spent on taxable items. Sales tax is only effective in shifting the tax burden onto those less able to pay. These with the higher percentage of income required from them also use the roads less, generally traveling less than their wealthy counterparts.

The argument of the pro SPLOST is "the end justifies the means" while the discussion should be "what means should be used to reach desired end" SPLOST should stand for "Some People Lose Out with Sales Tax"

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dman 8 months ago

Jan...not sure where you are coming from. Taxation of property is more unfair. Bigger house, more property equals more tax. You spend $100 on groceries and pay 6% and it is the same 6% I pay If I buy $100 of groceries. Are you saying the more affluent don't eat or buy as much as the needy or poor? If you don't want to pay that 1% extra...then go buy your stuff in Barrow county. Well wishes.

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Jan 8 months ago

It is simple math. Let's just consider 2% sales tax, since food products are at this lower rate and groceries is what you mentioned. If you earn $1000.00 per month and spend $900 on food, then 1.8% of your income is going for tax on your groceries. If you earn $2000 per month and spend $1200 on food, then your tax rate for this is only 1.2% of your income. This makes sales tax a regressive tax, taxing those least able to afford this burden with a higher burden as a percentage of their income. Though I could not find exact numbers, I did find enough information to show that the amount of tax increase for a $200,000 home would be less than $40 per year for the county to raise the same amount. This home would require monthly payments of about $1000 and an income of about $3,000 per month. Calculate your normal expenditures on this income and you will see that sales tax, even being frugal, would be well over $100 per year. If you own business property or $1,000,000 home, you might well pay more in property taxes than with a 1% increase in sales tax but you always have the option of buying less expensive property. The poor do not have an option to atop buying food.

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dman 7 months, 4 weeks ago

I guess we will have to disagree. We all have been paying 6% sales tax since 1997. Do you really believe that saving that .01 on the dollar is going to get you more food or clothing? I dont think so. The 6% sales tax has nothing to do with your income. You either spend $100 on Groceries or your don't. Simple math. Guess we are not looking at it the same way.

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Veryconcernedcitizen 7 months, 4 weeks ago

If the bulk of this money is going towards roads then I say vote yes. If I am going to be taxed extra then SPLOST is the way to go. That way we even get money from folks who live outside Gwinnett and spend money here. Lets face it, Gwinnett needs road improvements all over the place.

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Jan 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Very..." That way we even get money from folks who live outside Gwinnett and spend money here." That won't even pay the cost of collecting the tax and also is evened out by those from Gwinnett that spend money other places. Your only rationalizations for the vote boils done to a false belief the "The end justifies the means".

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R 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The old pretense of getting other peoples money...

"That way we even get money from folks who live outside Gwinnett and spend money here."

Just remember where YOU shop - if its within our borders, its YOUR wallet. If that's want you want show up and vote. You can surely bet the Chamber's people will...

If you think they are collecting enough already and we need a break - show up and cast a vote...

If you think you're getting free money - you're not

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jack 7 months, 4 weeks ago

It's astonishing that seemingly rational people would willingly vote a tax upon themselves.

Makes your elected politician's job so much easier.

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Why_not 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Without the SPLOST one of two things will happen.....1 - Some services will eventually have to be slashed, or 2 - Property tax mileage rate will have to be increased. It's an easy choice for me. The property tax base cannot provide the amount required to maintain the services we expect and keep our infrastructure up-to-date.

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Why_not 7 months, 4 weeks ago

I would much rather choose myself to pay 1% additional sales tax rather than have my property taxes increased which would affect my monthly mortgage payment. At least with SPLOST, those that do not live in Gwinnett that come here to shop or pass thru will pay toward this tax also.

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jack 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Oh, like when we were told if we didn't pass E-SPLOST our property taxes would go up?

Let's see, how well did that work out: we passed E-SPLOST AND our school taxes went up anyway!

Preemptively taxing yourself is no protection against the raising of property taxes by politicians addicted to spending your money.

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R 7 months, 3 weeks ago

@ whynot

But elsewhere you supported the trash tax er "fee"

(That we can't deduct on our FEDERAL taxes because they simply didn't call it a tax, an oversight that a county BOC vote can fix today)

on our county tax bills that (gasp) INCREASED monthly mortgage payments...
(Raising costs higher than if YOU paid for the service directly)

So which is it ...

Sales tax, property tax or really BOTH that need to go up?

(Passing an increase in either simply will not DROP the total take of the other)

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Reason 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Do not vote for it and see what happens. The level of ignorance on display is truly amazing.

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R 7 months, 3 weeks ago

YES they will be back in 12 months asking again it aint the end of the world to make a TEMPORARY tax go away...

Even if just for 12 months!!

As a matter of fact, it MIGHT just be beneficial so our elected will stop taking OUR wallets for granted.

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dmoore 7 months, 3 weeks ago

SPLOST, as in all sales taxes, mean people from outside Gwinnett County will help pay the tax. I personally have no problem with this. People from other places use our facilities and roads, why can't they help pay for them? Why don't liberals understand this?
Because it is logical and makes sense, that's why.

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Why_not 7 months, 3 weeks ago

News flash.....it's not the liberals that have an issue with SPLOST....it's the conservatives.

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R 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Liberals have never questioned what they claim are regressive taxes ...

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R 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The old pretense of getting other peoples money...

"That way we even get money from folks who live outside Gwinnett and spend money here."

Just remember where YOU shop - if its within our borders, its YOUR wallet.

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Haughton 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I doubt things have changed much since last year, citizens and taxpayers are being sick and tired of being SPLOST to death.

http://www.11alive.com/news/article/247961/3/Conservatives-liberals-unite-against-sales-tax-hike-for-transportation

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Why_not 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I think everyone was against TSPLOST. We know without a doubt that the SPLOST funds will be used within Gwinnett only.

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R 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey here's a thought...

Why not petition the state for a 5 cent charge "floor" on the I 85 HOT Lanes? And don't forget the sticker fee surcharge for the RFID tag

The HOT Lanes are such a success that we wouldn't need the SPLOST - look at all the other people's money we could get then!!

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