My Take on Tuesday’s E-SPLOST Vote

This is a friendly reminder that there is an election coming up on Tuesday, November 8. Your regular polling place will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. that day. There is one question on the ballot in unincorporated DeKalb as to whether or not you want to renew for a period of five years the E-SPLOST one-cent sales tax that goes to DeKalb school building projects.

Click here to see the sample ballot for the election. Click here and scroll down to review the list of projects that is proposed to be funded by the E-SPLOST if it is passed.

A few constituents have asked how I will be voting on the E-SPLOST. Despite the fact that there are ample reasons to be angry with the school system’s past management of school construction funds, I will be voting in favor of it.

If the E-SPLOST is not passed, homeowners will see an immediate increase in their property taxes because a homestead exemption will be revoked by operation of law. I prefer sales taxes to property taxes, particularly because everybody (not just homeowners) and a substantial number of people from outside DeKalb (think Perimeter Mall and the Brookhaven Costco) pays them. Furthermore, I view it as positive that part of the funding is allocated to the overdue new facility at Chamblee High School.

Some constituents have asked me whether the legislation that I helped to pass reducing the size of the school board from nine to seven members is tied to the E-SPLOST vote. While this is technically true, I do not view it as a reason to vote for or against the E-SPLOST. I am certain the General Assembly will take whatever steps are necessary in the 2012 legislative session to ensure that this important reform takes effect next year as planned.

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