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AFP Letter Supporting HB 153 - Fractional-percentage SPLOST

February 24, 2014 J,

February 25, 2014

Dear Georgia Representative:

On behalf of more than 55,000 Americans for Prosperity Georgia activists around the State, I write in strong support of HB 153 concerning county flexibility with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). HB 153 would allow county-level flexibility to propose SPLOST that raise less than a one cent tax.

Current Georgia law allows each county to propose a SPLOST of one cent to voters in order to fund capital projects within the county. Too often, the project lists become bloated with waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, because current law prohibits any flexibility for proposing a lower rate. If local taxpayers want to fund a specific road improvement project and the project costs less than what a one cent tax would raise, the county cannot structure a deal that raises only the amount of money needed to fund
the project. The excessive taxation requirement results in a tendency to unnecessarily grow project lists, in some egregious cases providing for pet projects funded by taxpayer largesse.

Similar SPLOST county flexibility legislation has already passed through the Senate in SB 99. HB 153 represents a huge opportunity for local taxpayers, undercutting the temptation to grow government with unnecessary filler projects while providing more government transparency. It also mitigates the unintended consequences associated with a never-ending vortex of public spending from a county’s general fund on additional maintenance costs years down the road. These expenses create pressure to impose additional taxes or divert existing funds from more important government obligations.

Americans for Prosperity Georgia is proud to support HB 153, allowing county flexibility to propose SPLOST that raise less than a one cent tax. I urge you to support its passage, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,

Joel Aaron Foster
State Communications Director Grassroots Coordinator
Americans for Prosperity – Georgia

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