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I'm writing to voice my support for the continuation of SPLOST funds in our state. SPLOST funds are generated from a 1 percent tax of the same items subject to the state sales tax. That 1 percent is a small price to pay for some very important aspects of our community life. Hall County has benefited greatly from these funds over the last 10 years.
Improvements to roads and bridges, expansion of parks, improvements in the health department and expansion of landfills are only a few of the important services these funds have supported. Significantly, our schools have often been able to maintain and enhance their facilities as well through the use of these monies, with improvements such as replacement of worn-out HVAC units, installment of handicapped accessible sidewalks and ramps, replacement of dilapidated carpet and flooring, provision of updated kitchen and cafeteria facilities and restroom renovations.
One crucial need that many of our schools are facing is updated technology.
If continued, SPLOST funds will be targeting these technology gaps.
Now our first reaction to this idea may be to close our wallets. Images may come to mind of students wandering the halls with iPods paid for by tax money. However, most of us recognize at our own workplaces and in personal business dealings that anyone who is not proficient with a computer or who does not understand how to access information on the Internet is at a real disadvantage in the world today. It's important to understand that a large percentage of Hall County children still live in homes without a computer.
If those students can be introduced to the common technologies of the work world — including hospitals, auto mechanics shops and retail businesses — not only will they have more success finding and holding jobs, but the quality of life in Hall County will undoubtedly improve because of a more highly-skilled citizenry.
As can be seen by the state of some of our local schools and public facilities, Hall County is still in need of this 1 percent tax for crucial renovations of existing buildings and updates. This resource can be utilized to help prepare Hall County students for productive and successful adult lives and to improve generally the quality of the county's infrastructure.
More information about SPLOST funds can be found here.