SPLOST vote: It should be ‘Yes’

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Recent letters and articles have been encouraging folks to vote “No” on the SPLOST. Please consider the other side of the story.

We’re going to pay for the work whether the SPLOST passes or not. There are profound cost differences that need to be understood.

The county might not have every “i” dotted and “t” crossed as far as a total 100 percent plan but whoever does?

Yes, it would be nice to know what will happen three or five years from now, but the county is simply trying to step up and be more proactive in their planning.

The county knows of at least 181 storm water projects that need to be done. We’re going to pay for them with a relatively low cost SPLOST or a higher cost alternative.

The county will be taking care of 90-plus percent of the problem. In five years or so the county can do the right thing and establish its own stormwater utility paid for by a separate fee by those living in the unincorporated parts of the county. The annual bill might be $20 or so.

By passing the SPLOST, you’ll pay around $350 per household total over two years. Not passing it and you’ll eventually pay perhaps $800 with a millage increase over five years to get the same amount of money.

The difference is because with the SPLOST, everyone, including visitors to our county will help pay for the projects with the one penny sales tax. Without the SPLOST, 100 percent of the funding will come from YOU, the voters in this county in the form of a property tax or utility fee.

This exact same argument goes for Peachtree City and using SPLOST for their road and cart path maintenance.

The SPLOST naysayers never mention the facts about the cost alternatives to you like this. They are tormented by the idea of voting for any tax despite the favorable longer-term financial benefit it has.

They are telling you to eat $500 because they don’t want a penny tax for two years. Good grief. Being honest and telling the whole story goes a long way in securing the trust of the citizens.

The long-term plan should include transitioning from a SPLOST-funded stormwater program for the county, and road/cart path maintenance program for Peachtree City, to self-supported funding.

In the county this would be a true stormwater utility. In Peachtree City this would be the general fund that would slowly pick up the cost over the years of using SPLOST, and when the last of the SPLOST money is used, Peachtree City’s general fund would then be paying for it … as it should be.

Make sure your politicians campaign on a transition plan so that there won’t be a need for another SPLOST for “non-special” purposes.

By the way, how many know that of the 160 counties in the state, Fayette is only one of eight counties that currently has a 6 percent sales tax. All others are 7 percent or higher.

Other counties are already getting an extra $20 million-plus a year to pay for their projects and a lot of that is coming from us.

How about asking them to help pay for our projects for a change?

Bonnie Mullikin
Peachtree City, Ga.