Here is a list of reasons why AFP Georgia opposes the Chatham County SPLOST tax on November 5th, compiled by members AFP activists in Savannah. Read the project list here.
1) SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) is a regressive tax that collects a larger percentage of income from lower and middle-income families.
2) The current referendum is called SPLOST 6 but is actually SPLOST 7. The original 1985 SPLOST was extended by referendum in 1989 for an additional for years.
3) Chatham County is the only county in Georgia that has continuously had a SPLOST since its inception in 1985. This pushes the definition of “Special” into something more akin to “perpetual” budget supplement.
4) SPLOST damages the local economy by decreasing the amount of disposable income consumers have to spend and discouraging consumer purchasing by raising sales taxes
5) Raising your local sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents is a 16.7% tax increase; not 1% as claimed by tax proponents.
6) The tourists that proponents attribute 40% of SPLOST collections to include residents from adjacent counties who cross the Chatham county line regularly.
7) Building an unneeded and unwanted $120 million arena on Savannah’s West side will do more to benefit a few Chamber of Commerce firms than ease the economic blight of that neighborhood.
8) SPLOST project costs are repeatedly underestimated while projected SPLOST collections are overestimated.
9) SPLOST funds have been redirected to projects not approved by voters. To accommodate such expenditures in SPLOST VI the County is listing general expenditure categories instead of specific projects.
10) The city’s SPLOST VI list includes incomplete projects from SPLOST V
11) Property taxes are going to be increased either way. Since SPLOST collections can’t be used for operations; shortfalls in E-SPLOST ($16 million), CAT ($7.8 million) increased operational costs for the Chatham County jail ($7.9 million) and the SCMPD street drug unit ($4 million) will have to come from higher property value assessments, a millage rate increase or a combination of both.
12) Chatham/Savannah public officials believe they can spend your money more wisely than you.
13) The list of SPLOST spending is not clearly enough defined.
14) The list of SPLOST projects amounts to $370 million in new taxes to Chatham County residents spread out of 6 years
15) The list of SPLOST projects is a grab bag that is undisciplined and encompasses over two dozen separate projects with voters being given no choice to prioritize spending, only a carte’ blanch request.