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Opinion: SPLOST VIII would fund critical needs in our community
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A Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax sign is posted March 10, 2018, at the Splash Pad at Laurel Park. The area was renovated in 2017. - photo by David Barnes

As chairman of Hall Progress 2020, I am writing to express my support for SPLOST VIII and to encourage our community to make a strong showing at the polls to vote yes. 

It’s very important that we continue the one-penny local sales tax, which has been in place since 1985. Early voting is now through Nov. 1, with the referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 5.  

Before placing your vote, please consider this: SPLOST pennies are collected locally and stay here locally to pay for a long list of community needs. The best part is that a significant percentage of the sales tax is paid by our large daytime population, many of whom reside outside our community but happen to work and shop here. 

I have personally reviewed every public project on the SPLOST list. Folks, this is not a wish list. It is a “must-have list” of critical needs such as ambulances, fire trucks, fire station renovations, police cars and road improvements countywide. This list is balanced with quality of life projects too, such as greenspace and recreation services, the Highlands to Islands trail and a new classroom building to serve more children at Elachee Nature Science Center. 

If we don’t continue to use SPLOST pennies to fund these projects, then the likely alternative is higher property taxes. Because one way or another, we need to continue to make our community safer and economically viable to preserve our wonderful quality of life. 

Our community is better because of SPLOST. Let’s keep a good thing going. Please join me in voting yes for SPLOST. 

Doug Carter

Chairman, Hall Progress 2020

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