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Your Views: Road sales tax will drive up business costs
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Lately it seems that every Georgia chamber leader and local politician is writing letters or campaigning in support of the 1 percent transportation sales tax. The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, a government agency, has even joined in with letters and an ad campaign under the name “Connect Georgia Mountains” while the Chamber uses the name “Connect Georgia 2012.” Both of these groups receive well over $100,000 from Hall County taxpayers every year

One in 5 Georgians is now on food stamps and our leaders think passing the largest tax increase in our state’s history to build new roads over the next 20 years is the answer. If it was such a great plan, why didn’t they just vote for it?

While the politicians want you to think this tax will create jobs and fix all our transportation woes, I want you to consider the unintended consequences. Besides being a huge burden for all of us because it taxes basic necessities such as energy, phone, food and clothing, it will cause other costs to go up as well.

I am writing as a local retail business owner to ask that you vote against this tax increase because unlike others who have written, we actually collect sales tax, so when it goes up, we lose business.

Consider this: If this tax passes, it will cost all forms of business more to purchase everyday supplies; this, in turn, will mean costs will have to be raised to cover it. So, not only will you be paying the 1 percent tax, you will be paying a little more for everything because the costs will be past on. Having just been hit with a property tax increase and higher fees, I think this is too much burden on local small businesses and residents.

Once costs and sales taxes go up, people will buy less. When people buy less, that causes the community to lose the funding for the three SPLOSTs we already have in place. Also, the added cost and lost of business will cause some businesses to close because they are already barely getting by due to the bad economy. That will carry over to another empty retail space and more people out of work.

Sometimes, I don’t think lawmakers consider the challenges others will face because of their actions. After all, if it doesn’t work out, they will just say “you voted for it.”

Those of us against the T-SPLOST do not have the connections or money of the Chamber of Commerce, politicians and many other government-funded organizations to sway votes, nor do we have the millions of dollars to spend on a statewide campaign to get billions of dollars more from the taxpayers.

What we do have is our voice and a belief that the majority will not let this tax increase slide by like the politicians are hoping. Now is not the time for more taxes. Please vote “no” on or before July 31.

Kellie Weeks
Gainesville

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