Last-minute voters were adamantly against SPLOST
by Lindsay Field
March 20, 2013 01:01 AM | 4734 views | 17 17 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Andrew Gan, left, and Danielle Welsh, both of Marietta, check in with poll workers Tuesday before voting at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in east Cobb.<br> Kelly J. Huff
Andrew Gan, left, and Danielle Welsh, both of Marietta, check in with poll workers Tuesday before voting at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in east Cobb.
Kelly J. Huff
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Despite the passage of SPLOST IV, voters who cast their ballots at the Cobb Civic Center one hour shy of the polls closing were adamantly against the tax being renewed.

Debra Miller and Carol Lindsey, who both live in Marietta, said they voted no for the 1-cent sales tax because of what they referred to as a lack of accountability.

“I don’t mind it if there’s accountability for it, but I’ve lived in Cobb County since 1968, and there’s a long history of them doing things, but yet the money disappears so there’s no accountability and the kids still can’t read and write,” said 61-year-old Lindsey.

Lindsey said another point of contention was the election date itself.

“They are wasting time and resources to hold it now because they know that only 10 percent, if that, will come out to vote, and the 10 percent that does will support it,” she said.

Another no vote was cast by 23-year-old Brittany Kreider, who is a college student at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

“I don’t believe we need to be raising our taxes,” she said. “The money never goes where it’s supposed to go.”

Kreider also voted against the TSPLOST this summer.

Vincent Duckery, a 50-year-old delivery truck driver, said he believes the school districts need to look for other ways to take care of their maintenance and operations costs.

“There are just too many people out here out of work, and it’s really tough on the people who are working when you’re constantly getting taxed,” he said. “We’ve had this one for a number of years now, and it’s time to give it a break.”
Comments
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Great Unwashed
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March 20, 2013
My objection is the items for which the ESPLOST is used- For example $40 Million to tear down and build practically an entire new Walton HS. How absurd! And Walton had to get their own new performing arts theatre, because they could not be outdone by Lassiter HS, the other Cobb county HS for wealthy Cobb residents. Don't forget the Lassiter performing arts palace cost $16 MILLION and was funded with the present ESPLOST. And the really, really sad thing is most of the other Cobb County schools just beg & campaign for a mere classroom building to replace a 30, 40, 50 or 60 yr old one.

Affluence has such advantages!
DanTman
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March 25, 2013
You are absolutely correct!!! I just recently attended a recital at the Lassiter Performance Arts facility and was shocked by it's grandeur. The MC of the presentation compared the facility to Carnegie Hall! My thoughts were why did a single high school have to have such an elaborate facility and what a waste of Tax Payer money! Many more used could have been apllied with that money like hiring more resource teachers or purchasing laptops for children's use. Also as mentioned above most schools are begging just to receive a few dollars to upgrade outdated classrooms and archaic buildings! No accountability for the use of the SPLOST monies.
sandie17
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March 20, 2013
I am all for this SPLOST. It doesn't raise our taxes, it actually holds them down. It is used for many improvments, expansions, and maintenance isuues. It is not, nor was it ever intended as a means of money to improve education, teachers salaries, etc. If you want to see the results, just look around you at the great school blds, grounds, and sports facilities. These things are not only good for the children, but certainly enhance our property values.
Butler Reynolds
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March 20, 2013
OK, the bloated education bureaucracy got their "temporary" tax extended in the usual way:

1. Keep potential beneficiaries well informed of the vote.

2. Keep silent otherwise.

3. Hold the vote on an off date.

4. Tell parents sad stories of leaking roofs and being cash strapped.

Think I'm too harsh in calling the schools a government bureaucracy? The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has shown that Georgia's government schools have had an explosion in hiring non-teaching staff. If they are cash strapped, it is because they have too much fat to maintain.

http://www.georgiapolicy.org/georgia-public-schools-employ-more-staff-than-teachers/

Say What?
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March 20, 2013
Isn't it amazing. Excuses everywhere for losing. Last time I checked I don't believe one of these splosts for education have been defeated over the years. Doubt all of these were scheduled on an off date or there was a conspiracy to suppress the vote. Maybe folks know a good deal when they see it. I for one am glad the masses are not stupid enough to raise property taxes to pay for the government required education.

Besides no one cares about how wide the margin or how many voted. Only the results. Besides only 17,317 voted against the SPLOST. I guess your side had more dumb people that did not vote then our side did.
AmericanMale
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March 21, 2013
Okay, so my earlier submitted comment was not permitted because I offered a web address to show how errant Butler Reynolds claim was... REALLY?! A little consistency in enforcement would be nice, MDJ!

So, leaving readers to find it themselves, I'll state again: Butler is plain wrong in the context of Cobb County School District. "Bloated" doesn't apply. CCSD is just about THE most efficient district in the metro area according to the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.

CCSD administrative costs represent a mere 4.9% of all certified personnel. Other districts typically are around 6 or 7% with an average of 6.5% statewide. Even adding in additional support staff, Cobb's is a full percentage point below the rest of the state (14.1% vs 15.1%).

Four or five years ago, the school district total budget was around $1.2 Billion, if I'm not mistaken. Now it's around $800 Million... about 30% less than it was before the recession.

My patience has run out for those who seem to enjoy lumping our school district in with others which have not been as well managed. Maybe if they'd take a little time to look into bogus claims like those posed by Butler, we'd have an easier time supporting our schools and their children and grandchildren!

FalconRob
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March 20, 2013
Many good points on the comments here. At least two of the voters cited in this article are completely ignorant of the SPLOST tax. We need to support the schools in our county...period. Right-minded Democrats AND Republicans can agree on this one.
AmericanMale
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March 20, 2013
Lindsay, has anyone informed you about the last-minute tactic of the anti-SPLOST crowd?

I've heard several friends (senior citizens) who received robocalls which claimed a vote for SPLOST would result in the LOSS of the senior exemption! This blatent attempt to scare seniors may have played a role in the last-minute anti-SPLOST turnout. May be worth a follow-up article!
Nettie Stemm
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March 20, 2013
Too bad they were enough to counter the CCSD's 14,000 controlled puppet votes.
Ed Splost
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March 20, 2013
Miss Kreider is incorrect - the SPLOST measure doesn't raise taxes. This vote extended an existing tax.

Mr. Duckery doesn't realize that the school districts use SPLOST as that other way to take care of maintenance costs. If the county did not have SPLOST, aid would come in the form of other taxes (like property tax). Through SPLOST we can get non-residents to help shoulder the costs with dollars they spend as they sail through the county on our highways. Yes, we've had this one for a number of years because it is relatively painless and efficient. Cutting that one penny on the dollar would put a lot of people out of work as the districts would not have funds to expand and improve...that equals jobs when you think about it.

Ms. Lindsey - there is a very transparent use of every SPLOST dime spent. Maybe you just aren't really interested in accountability, for it you seek it you will find it.

As taxes go, Cobb is no worse than any other county in the metro area, so why whine about helping schools? After all, the property values in this county are propped up by award-winning schools we have. If you cut out their lifeline, you are shooting yourselves in the foot!

When you really think about it...Cobb residents should have been turning out in droves to vote FOR the measure - all the way around it's a pretty sweet deal for Cobb.
votinglesson
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March 20, 2013
Aw, bless her heart. Didn't anyone correct Brittany Kreider and tell her that SPLOST isn't raising taxes? It's keeping it the same as it has been for the majority of her life? I know she's just 23 but someone should've told her that it's OBAMA who is raising taxes and that SPLOST is not. She'll learn.
IceDogg
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March 20, 2013
So, in other words, responsible people who work for a living voted against this ridiculous tax, while stay-at-home soccer moms and non-working recipients of government entitlements with more free time during the day voted for it.

Makes sense.
SSBSSB
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March 20, 2013
I am working mother who voted YES!! Don't assume everyone who voted YES is a stay-at-home mom or a government moocher.
Hermione Fairchild
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March 20, 2013
Not sure of the point of this one sided article. Comments from three opponents without any views from the other side? If it was to show one last time how uninformed those against SPLOST were it was a partial success. It had the tired old "no accountability" being raised yet again without examples. Other than that it certainly seems odd and out of place.
hellotaxp
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March 20, 2013
I have no problem with splost being used for our children, but it is being redirected toward cities and police departments. say NO!!!!
AmericanMale
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March 20, 2013
@hellotaxp

Your ignorance is epic.

The Ed-SPLOST is for education. It is controlled by the school districts, not the county government.

The majority of opposition I have encountered is well exemplified in your post. The opposition largely was due to misinformation (such as that misleading robocall!) and just plain old ignorance.
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