Georgia Senate tweaks Carson’s SPLOST bill
by Jon Gillooly
March 17, 2014 04:00 AM | 2061 views | 3 3 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate passed a bill authored by state Rep. John Carson (R-northeast Cobb) allowing counties to collect a sales tax of less than 1 cent per dollar spent, but not without tinkering with it first.

When Carson’s bill went through the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Judson Hill (R-east Cobb), it was amended to allow for multiple special purpose local option sales taxes to be levied at the same time, provided they add up to no more than 1 percent.

That means if Cobb County wanted to do a half a cent on the dollar tax for six years, and upon reaching year three decided the other half cent was needed, the Senate amendment would allow the county to ask voters to approve that additional half cent.

The Senate passed the bill 36 to 14 on Tuesday. Of the six senators who represent Cobb, Judson Hill, Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna) and Bruce Thompson (R-White) voted in favor, Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta) voted no, Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) was excused and Lindsey Tippins (R-west Cobb) didn’t vote.

Tippins said he favors either version of the bill, but was absent because he was working on an education bill at the time of the vote.

“I’m not opposed to a fractional penny SPLOST as long as the voters have to approve it,” Tippins said. “I think the commissioners or Board of Education need the latitude to make a determination on whatever they feel like is the best interest of the district or the county, and it’s their job to make a convincing argument to the voters, but there’s a lot of difference between mandating a SPLOST and giving them the opportunity to do it. I really think a fractional penny SPLOST makes sense.”

Carson’s bill would only apply to county and city SPLOST programs.

When the bill returned to the House, which had already approved Carson’s original bill, Carson went to the well to disagree with the Senate version.

There is now a standoff, with either the Senate or House needing to pass the other chamber’s version or work out the difference in a conference committee, Carson said.

A deal must be struck by the last day of the session Thursday for the bill to survive.

State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) was one of the Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. Commenting on why the Senate changed the bill, Wilkerson said, “As far as I know, I think it’s just a difference of opinion. I don’t think this is one of the bills caught in the final day politics.”

Comments
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Taxed Enough
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March 17, 2014
Bait and swithch.

"...it was amended to allow for multiple special purpose local option sales taxes to be levied at the same time, provided they add up to no more than 1 percent.

That means if Cobb County wanted to do a half a cent on the dollar tax for six years, and upon reaching year three decided the other half cent was needed, the Senate amendment would allow the county to ask voters to approve that additional half cent."

I guarantee that extra half cent will be needed!!!

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Georgia Senate tweaks Carson s SPLOST bill
Kennesaw Resident
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March 17, 2014
Leave it to the Republicrats to approve a tax and then leave to the voters to implement. If you are against big government just vote "No." BTW, many voters will be watching your vote and I for one will not vote for tax and spend Republicans. FREEDOM from taxation is one FREEDOM I am particularly interested in.
COBB CSI
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March 17, 2014
These Republicans have more taxes then Democrats that’s right they all use to be Democrats, Timmy Lee is modeling us after DeKalb County with a host tax and later they will raise your millage rate for some unseen need it will involve fireman and police.
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