Reprinted from The Gwinnett Tea Party – Read the entire article here.
The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is up for renewal. It seems awkward to call a tax that has been in place since the mid 80’s ‘Special.’ It has actually become an expected part of county revenue. But the law requires renewal by the taxpayers so, once again, here we are.
The measure would impose a 1% tax on everything purchased within the County. Many people think of this as a 1% tax increase. Some newspapers have reported it this way, and the County hasn’t helped with its “just a penny” campaign. But raising a sales tax from 5% to 6% is actually a 20% increase in the tax you pay. And dropping the current SPLOST will reduce our sales taxes by almost 17%.
The County claims that as much as 40% of the tax will be paid by people from surrounding counties. This is difficult to verify (some estimates are as low as 15%), but if that many people are already shopping in Gwinnett how many more would come if they could pay 17% less in taxes? What could that mean to local businesses? Think about it in reverse. Suppose the County were to impose the SPLOST only on people from outside the County. Do you think that would make Gwinnett a great place to shop?
Before the SPLOST, the County paid for projects by selling bonds. People could decide, based on their individual financial situation, whether to give their money to the government. With a blanket sales tax, they have no choice. [Read more]