On Feb. 21, a front page piece in your paper headlined “Poor bear brunt of sales tax hikes.” On Sunday, the lead piece on the Opinion page was “Voters should approve special sales tax.”
It is unfortunate that you are using the power of your editorial page to support this sales tax that will fall more heavily on the lower class and middle class than on the upper 1 percent. As Saturday’s article pointed out, the upper 1 percent pay just 5 percent of their income in taxes while the lowest class pay 10.4 percent. (In case you are curious, I’m in that middle one-fifth that pay 9.4 percent of my income in taxes.)
Your argument that “nearly half (of the tax) is paid by visitors,” does not hold much ethical water either. Is it fair to tax visitors for our local needs? If our sales tax increases, what is to say that these buyers of cheeseburgers and sodas are not going to take their business elsewhere? Will they not search for that 1 cent cheaper gas just as my wife does?
If these suggested improvements are as important as our county and city officials say they are, then let us first make the tax revenue fair. Increase income and property taxes so that everyone is paying about the same percentage of their income in taxes. When we get to that point, maybe I will be willing to vote for a SPLOST, but not until then.
Howard A. Stacy