Voting starts today for 1% sales tax; Stations accept early ballots until March 15
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
February 24, 2013 12:38 AM | 3588 views | 31 31 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Early voting for the March 19 SPLOST IV vote kicks off Monday morning and runs through March 15 at various polling locations.

Between the Cobb and Marietta school districts, the county’s two public school systems are asking for voters to approve collections of more than $773.3 million in sales taxes between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018.

Cobb alone will receive 93 percent of collections, or about $717.8 million, and Marietta about 7 percent, or $55.4 million.

Any voter in Cobb can vote at the elections office main location, 736 Whitlock Ave. in Marietta, Feb. 25 through March 15, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The week of March 11to 15, four more satellite locations will open for voters between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.:

* East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta

* South Cobb Community Center, 620 Lions Club Drive, Mableton

* Northstar Church, 3413 Blue Springs Road NW, Kennesaw

* Boots Ward Recreation Center/Lost Mountain Park, 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs.

Polls will not be open Monday, March 18, but all 153 voting locations in Cobb will be open Tuesday, March 19, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

There also are two voting locations that have changed.

Residents who previously voted at Community Bible Church will now vote at Chalker Elementary School, 325 North Booth Road, Kennesaw. The John Knox Presbyterian Church site has been changed to the East Marietta Library, 2051 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta.

The following locations will be changed for the March 19 vote only:

* Martha Moore Education Center to Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw

* Northeast Cobb YMCA to Hightower Trail Middle School, 3905 Post Oak Tritt Road, Marietta

* Towne View Baptist Church to Christ Episcopal Church, 1210 Wooten Lake Road NW, Kennesaw

* Wildwood Baptist Church to Pitner Elementary School, 4575 Wade Green Road, Acworth.

Voters can apply for a mail-in ballot by submitting an application online at cobbelections.org or by calling the office at (770) 528-2581.

To find out more information about where to vote, visit the state’s voter web page at sos.ga.gov/mvp.

Cobb’s portion of the 1 cent sales tax includes the district spending around $175.5 million on new or replacement facilities, $10 million on land, $130.3 million on additions or modifications, $179 million on infrastructure and individual school needs, $97.9 million on safety and support and $125 million on curriculum, instruction and technology.

To view a detailed project list for Cobb, visit cobbk12.org.

Marietta is asking for passage of the referendum to help pay off its $15.2 million debt and more than $40 million in renovations, technology purchases and transportation in the city school district.

A complete project list for Marietta City can be found online at marietta-city.org.
Comments
(31)
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I Love It
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February 25, 2013
I love it... "What about the kids"... "Don't forget the kids"!

A while back while I was pumping gas into my car when this Meth crazed guy carrying a big glass jar came up to me and asked for money. On the jar was a label that said.... "For the Kids" and I thought... Right.

Behind some of these comments I see Tax crazed citizens coming up to me with a SPLOST that's labeled... "For the Kids" and I think... Right.

WhatAbout theADULTS?
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February 26, 2013
Would you continue buy gas at that gas station if you were constantly accosted by degenerate low lifes? NO! You would find somewhere else to be. Great schools with great services and great facilities and great technology keep degenerate low lifes out of our neighborhoods so we don't have to "find somewhere else to be". Not that difficult of a concept. Comaring meth heads to citizens wanting the very best schools possible to keep there property valuable and safe...you can do better than that, right?
I Love It
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February 26, 2013
@WhatAbout theADULTS?...

Please clearly share your vision of... "the very best schools possible"

What!!!!!!!!!
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February 25, 2013
Yes...definitely....our kids need better concession stands, theaters, and gyms, because all of those things will prepare them for the real world. Catch a clue....we will have to raise property taxes anyways because our general fund is EMPTY!!!! So then you will have higher property taxes and the SPLOST.
to "What!!!!!!!!"
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February 25, 2013
Please get informed. The concession stands are being brought up to date due to the fact that they are not handicapped accessible". And why would you NOT want the kids to have decent theatres and gymnasiums? Our property taxes are more than 1/2 of what I was paying in the 2 other states where I have lived. Take a look at the video on the CCSD website and also check out what is being planned to do at each school before you cast that vote.
@ What!!!!!!!!!
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February 25, 2013
Vote YES for SPLOST...

Can't raise school property taxes above 20.0 mills in GA.

The school budget has been based on 20.0 and 19.9 the past few years.

Using SPLOST naysayer logic, we should not build school restrooms since restrooms ostensibly don't serve an educational purpose.

Continuing with their flawed logic, it's horrifying to consider providing theaters to accommodate student needs - they would have you believe nothing is ever learned in a theater.

Ask those students now appearing on Broadway that got their start in Cobb's schools if they agree.

By the way... it's called Physical Education for a reason. Facility (i.e. gyms) demands are much greater today than 20-30 years ago.
What!!!!!
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February 25, 2013
re @What!!!!!!! - Go ahead...remodel restrooms. I don't remember saying anything about that. I do stand by my opinion on the theaters, concessions and gymnasiums. FYI, the average theater person working on the stage in NYC earns scale....which is essentially below the poverty line. Good news is they qualify for food stamps.

We are able to provide PE facilities for all of our students right now, however, that will be cut also, as we cannot pay the teachers. But that will save us money on maintenance and upkeep on the new gyms because they won't be used as much.

With regards to the tax rate, look for it to be raised by the legislature in the next 12 to 18 months anyway. It is going to happen because the state is running out of money faster than Cobb County. So, the end result is going to be higher taxes anyway, and a nifty SPLOST on top of that.

Granted, another penny is not going to kill me at the grocery store...but I would rather see it go towards fixing our existing problems rather than gloss them over with new buildings and the latest fads. I know SPLOST can not be used for that, but it is a slap in the face to look at an educator and tell them "we can't pay you what we agreed to pay you, but the new theater sure is pretty."
AmericanMale
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February 26, 2013
You said, "FYI, the average theater person working on the stage in NYC earns scale....which is essentially below the poverty line."

El wrong-o! That would be correct if you are only an extra or an "appearance only" role. If you're talking something like a TV commercial, they could add residuals based on the number of times it airs, too! If an actor consistently makes "below the poverty line", perhaps they're in the wrong line of work!
What!!!!!!!!!
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February 26, 2013
@AmericanMale - Hmmmm.....and these jobs number in the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands???? Maybe not. But I do appreciate your adding to the SPLOST dialogue.
All for SPLOST
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February 25, 2013
I am voting YES!

If people would educate themselves on what SPLOST means for not only the Cobb community but the children, they would be 100% pro-SPLOST. The Cobb School District has put together an excellent video on their main page describing the difference between Genderal Funds and SPLOST funds. Please educate yourselved before making a decision.
lee smith
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February 25, 2013
Cobb County - Comminisoner's are THIEVES! SO THEY CAN BUY MORE ASTRO TURF FOR SCHOOLS. WE NEED SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO SPEND THE TAX PAYERS MONEY AND NOT SQUANDER IT! THIEVES!!! VOTE NO - NO -NO -NO AND TELL THEN WHERE TO GO!!
don'tbeselfish
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February 25, 2013
To kdkkdl and Lee Smith, I'm super sorry you hated PE as a kid and don't see the importance of athletics. The turf you despise has been a wonderful expenditure for all 16 high schools in Cobb County. They are used for football, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, band practice and PE classes. They are also utilized by elementary and middle school feeder programs. Weekend camps and summer camps take advantage of the turf, too. The only thing that gets these events canceled is lightning/severe weather.

Now schools save on maintenance of the grass. No more sod, overseeding, water, mowing, maintenance on the mowers, gas, field painting, etc. Just look at your own yard or your neighbors yard and realize what goes on to keep things looking decent and manageable. Do you hate fresh air and exercise? Were you overweight in high school and now you've carried your negativity and unhealthy lifestyle into your adult years and begrudge those who think it's important to participate in athletics, marching band and healthy living? The band kids devote more time to their marching band routine then the athletes and are in good shape when they're done with summer marching commitments.

As for the Lassiter theater, do you realize that there has only been one theater in the entire county that is able to accommodate a small crowd for events? That is at McEachern and it's because they have the good fortune of an endowment. Their facility is beautiful but it's not exactly around the corner for all 16 schools in the county and it is booked constantly. The new Lassiter theater is a win/win for so many reasons and yet you deem it useless and frivolous.

A well rounded student/person has access to academics, athletics, fine arts...come on. Don't you see the pluses that we are trying to provide for ALL kids in Cobb County? Try and take off your blinders for a brief moment. Don't be so selfish and only think of yourselves.
AmericanMale
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February 25, 2013
The commissioners would be rather confused. This SPLOST has nothing to do with Cobb County Government. This is an EDUCATIONAL SPLOST.
Go back to school!
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February 25, 2013
Educate yourself before making a decision. There are no commissioners in Cobb Schools. Your opinion of Cobb County govt has blinded you.

Squander it likes thieves? In 14 years of audits, not one single instance of mismanagement of previous SPLOST funds has arisen.

Do you understand that the only other way to raise the funds needed for these projects is through a bond that will increase your property taxes? Vote NO to higher property taxes and Vote YES on March 19th.
@ lee smith
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February 25, 2013
Time to put the bug juice down... The Cobb Commission has nothing to do with the school budgets or expenditures.
kdkkdl
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February 25, 2013
I will also be voting NO! Have you seen the waste in Cobb Co. schools? Look at the new construction at Lassiter (theatre) and astro turf at all the high school fields. Seems the cobb board has their priorities wrong. Please vote NO. If splost passes it wont do a darned thing for class sizes, as it cannot be used for payroll. Please be informed voters.
AmericanMale
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February 25, 2013
When the last projects list (SPLOST III) was created, it was over 5 years ago! The Lassiter theater was needed. The "astro turf" was a smart move because it was determined during the multi-year drought that it would be cheaper than constantly maintaining sod AND conserve water for drinking (though we seem to have too much water now!).

While SPLOST won't directly alleviate class size issues now, failing to pass it likely would INCREASE class sizes. Like it or not, SPLOST reduces many financial burdens on the general fund. If it doesn't pass, it will be another $20 or $30 million hit on the same fund that pays teachers' salaries. Getting rid of even more teachers to balance the budget would mean the remaining teachers would need to absorb more students into their classes... increasing class sizes!

Do YOUR homework! YOU be informed! Then vote!
Think before you
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February 25, 2013
speak. Your partial facts will only lead us to a future that resembles DeKalb Schools today.

Do you now that maintaining grass athletic fields comes out of the operations budget? Yes, the same budget that pays our teachers.

Did you know that astro turf doesn't grow? Therefore, we do not have to cut teacher salaries to pay for field maintenance.

Are you voting no for the safety and security of our children?

Those projects are in there.

Are you voting no for the shelter of our children while at school?

Those projects are in there.

Are you voting no for technology that will enable our children to be competitive in a digital world?

Those projects are in there.

Yes, VOTERS be informed. Vote YES on March 19th.
anonymous
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February 25, 2013
If SPLOST does not pass, the budget shortfall worsens meaning:

* Classroom sizes would likely increase

* More furlough days

* Fewer teaching positions
ASTRO FACTS
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February 25, 2013
Holy #$*&%^^! We are STILL crying about the turf?? Dear lord look at the savings in maintenance alone. We DON"T pay grounds keepers, or irrigation systems, or water bills, or fertilizer, or line chalk, or the human to mark field lines. Your ignorance on this one matter is the epitome of what is wrong with cobb voters. You refuse to become informed because it is easier to just say "no" like a close-minded dolt. Great schools prevent urban decay and dropping property values which bring the crime and gangs and "undesirables" you all so hate. You can't have it both ways bigots. Do you want a ONE PERCENT TAX or would you rather pay for more police, more foods stands, more home alarm systems, higher home insurance rates? Astro turf...gof help us all!!
What!!!!!!!
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February 25, 2013
Dear Astro-turf lovers. Go back and look at the fine print. We have a substantial contract to have the astro turf maintained and that money comes out of the ....are you ready for this....the GENERAL FUND.

TurfLover
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February 26, 2013
Astro maintenance comes out of the general fund. And ....wait for it....IT COSTS LESS THAN MAINTAINING A GRASS FIELD!! Admit it, you just want to see a district with NO athletic facilities, right? Stamp club anyone??? Anyone???
A Taxpayer
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February 24, 2013
VOTE NO! They have enough of our money already!
Who is "they"?
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February 25, 2013
SPLOST directly benefits every single student. Perhaps you should understand who "they" are before you make you decision.
Thumbs UP
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February 24, 2013
Look forward to continuing support of Marietta and Cobb schools with my YES vote!
Just Wait
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February 24, 2013
Can't wait to vote NO!
plsstayinformed
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February 24, 2013
Aw, Just Wait, it's a shame you haven't read the good and positive things this SPLOST IV will do. I sure don't want my property taxes to go sky high. Obama's already done too much damage to my paycheck, gas tank and all my purchases. I can't wait to vote YES!
West Cobb Farmer
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February 24, 2013
Take This Tax And Shove It!
Forget the kids!
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February 24, 2013
Darn right, forget the kids. Who needs 'em? Plus, I like paying higher property taxes rather than visitors and commuters helping pay the bill. Why tax people who don't live in Cobb, right?
@forget the kids
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February 25, 2013
BLESS YOU!!! This is soooo obvious.

How many visitors to SIx Flags alone????
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