Will support this ESPLOST, but next time ...
February 27, 2013 12:00 AM | 1686 views | 4 4 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I generally don’t support tax increases, but I find the proposal for the upcoming renewal of the education SPLOST to be a well-reasoned solution to address education funding in Cobb. Board representative Scott Sweeney explained the situation at the recent Town Hall (without advocating for or against) by outlining just some of the over $1 billion in repairs and upgrades needed. If Cobb doesn’t pass this renewal, we either don’t fix our aging buildings or we increase property taxes (or float a bond) to do so. If we go the bond route, the interest expense would run into the millions, and would be borne by property owners.

I don’t see a more economical solution to address the need. The ESPLOST seems like the most equitable answer as the burden is shared by anyone who purchases goods in Cobb.

If someone can propose another means to raise money for school repair, let’s hear it.

However, I will side with those who ask that future ESPLOST votes be held during a presidential primary, presidential election, or gubernatorial election. I understand the argument for holding the ESPLOST referendum in March (so as not to experience a lag in collections and lose all of next summer on the project schedule), but I believe it’s being held now because the lower turnout gives it a greater chance of passing.

If the school board wants my support for the next ESPLOST, get it on the ballot during the general election.

Bronson Beisel

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Thomas J Palmer
March 01, 2013
When I see ESPLOST again and again, I see BAD management of public funds. Homeowners in Cobb get hit with a school tax annually. How are these funds managed? The "S" in SPLOST was intended to mean SPECIAL. How can any clear thinking person define MAINTENANCE as something special. The $717 million projected to be collected only allows a continuance of bad management. But then we all know that kids receive a superior education with freshly painted walls and Astro Turf soccer fields. Check the high school graduation rate for Cobb County. Cobb graduations excel...we're better than Clayton County. YEA !!! ESPLOST is not about the kids.
top cat
February 27, 2013
Here is a quote by a county chairman:

"You can build these capital projects with SPLOST dollars, but you have to maintain and operate them out of general funds."

The same is true for ESPLOST.

The only way to pay for maintenance and operations costs is another bond and/or property tax increase.

Seniors on Social Security especially should vote against this.
Flawed Logic
March 03, 2013
So where do you think the dollars come for capital projects come from without SPLOST dollars?

Another bond and/or property tax increase.

Seniors should thank the visitors and workers who do not live in Cobb for paying approximately 30% of the SPLOST revenues raised.
Kevin F.
February 27, 2013
Passage rates for ESPLOST are actually greater in Nov. than Mar. by a 3% margin according to a recent GA State Fiscal Research Center report from Oct. 2012.

If there was an attempt to influence the vote by election timing, Nov. should have been chosen. The report also notes that election timing has no effect on ESPLOST ballot passage.
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