In 2013 Henry County, GA will vote on the county Special Purpose Local Optional Sales Tax known as SPLOST. This sales tax would most likely be in effect for six years and bring nearly $280 million in tax revenue to be spent on designated projects throughout the county.
Henry has the SPLOST program in place for many years now and has raised hundreds of millions. Many of the parks and road projects stem from the tax revenue. New government buildings like the courthouse, Senior Centers and jail have been needed.
Just this week a new park was opened costing $300,000 funded with this tax revenue.
Now the county leaders are pandering an additional SPLOST known as the Transportation SPLOST (TSPLOST) as part of the Regional Transportation Investment Act. It will raise the current sales tax in Henry by 14.3%. This new tax will go for widening a few roads in Henry and fund the GRTA buses we already have running to Atlanta.
It seems our government does not have enough money to do all the projects so it’s time to raise taxes. Thus over the next ten to eleven years Henry County citizens will pay over a half a billion dollars in taxes a few pennies at a time.
Most of the working people in Henry are not hired in Henry. Nearly 70% of the employed leave Henry to work in other areas, thus we have been lumped into a region with nine other counties because Steve Davis did not want to fix the traffic problem, and he just passed the buck on it.
What the education on the TSPLOST leaves out is Henry can do these exact same projects without increasing the tax burden. The 2013 county SPLOST can be used for the same purpose to accomplish the very same projects. So why do we need the 14.3% increase in sales taxes in Henry?
It’s a matter of priority: $300,000 playgrounds, million dollar soccer complexes, half million dollar walking trails versus widen the roads, put in traffic signals, even pave roads are the choices. Some will say we should do both. We see the last SPLOST had a mix of about 70% road and 30% other.
Having both the county 2013 SPLOST and the new sales tax TSPLOST is just government becoming greedy wanting more and more to spend, sounds like DC politics. Steve Davis promised a political power like Americans for Tax Reform not to raise taxes and put Henry in bed with nine other counties where Henry loses its individuality to solely make decisions on how much taxes are needed for local roads.
Even if all of Henry votes this new 14.3% sales tax increase down Davis has insured Henry will do whatever it is told by the region. All it takes is a simple majority of voters in Dekalb, Fulton and Gwinnett to say Henry needs to pay the tax.
The only recourse if the regional tax increase occurs is to vote down the county 2013 SPLOST. Where will our children play then, in their own yards?