Splost or not to Splost That is the Question

Someone emailed me a big post on their opinion regarding the whole Splost thing. At the same time, Hugh Akston, Truth author, submitted a post. They seem to have different views. So We decided to put them up together.

Part 1:

Why we should VOTE NO for e-SPLOST IV.

It is about time we demand proper management from our elected officials because our school board has neglected too many of our children too often in the past.

Since e-SPLOST I, we have raised over $274,000,000. We have built 10 new schools and added some 200 new classrooms. That sounds great. But we have seen our school board use this money while neglecting our children’s most essential needs while in their custody for over 14 years.

Now that we are all living in hard times, the Hall County School Board is NOW ready to address the kid’s basic needs. The school boards inability to properly utilize the funds from our past tax increases has created this urgent need for mounting basic renovations.

Those basic renovations include replacing or repairing leaky roofing systems in buildings that are 40-60 years old. We now find our school board addressing old heating and air conditioning systems that are no longer properly working. We see that after providing the school board with over $274,000,000, many of our schools still suffer from electrical and plumbing systems that are in disrepair. In this fourth version of e-SPLOST this school board will finally address new school buses, library book and a bus depot.

We are even threatened by the proponents of the tax increase that 75 year old Fair Street School is in deplorable condition and will more than likely close if the e-SPLOST IV does not pass. We have given them $274,000,000 over 14 years and they are just now getting around addressing this problem. I feel for the children of Fair Street . Oh if they could have been treated as well as the children in the other new schools.

These problems are legitimate problems and must be addressed. But, don’t be misled about what this vote is about. This vote is not about the children. They have demonstrated a lack of concern for the children in the older schools over the last 14 years. Rest assured that regardless of the outcome of this vote the children of Hall County will be taken care of.

This vote is about the taxpayers telling the elected officials, it is time to learn to manage with what you have. We the people have been suffering through this recession and have learned to do so and now it is time for government to do the same.

Why do we have two redundant school systems in this county? What are the cost to employee so many administrative positions that have little if any contact with our children. This e-SPLOST is for both systems. Well start by combining them. That would be a start. And then let’s talk about tax increases.

Until then VOTE NO for e-SPLOST IV.

Submitted by Josey Wales

Now for the other side…

Part 2:

Why should old people pay for schools?

I was talking to one of the old ladies at my church today and I was surprised when she told me to vote no on the e-SPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) this Tuesday, March 15.  She told me that she was tired of paying taxes for the schools and such and told me that we needed to send a message to stop spending.

After getting home, I began to think about it and looked at an article in the evil Times to see what all might be in the referendum.  The one thing that stood out to me is the bond payments that are due in 2013 and 2014.  According the superintendent and the Times, eSPLOST is scheduled to generate about $105m for Hall County schools over the next 5 years.  Hall County plans to retire $9.7m in bond debt.

So, even if we don’t pass the eSPLOST, we have to pay for the bonds over the next 3 years.  The current millage rate for Hall County is 16.42.  To pay the bonds, the millage would have to be raised to 18.42.  Most people do not know that there is a cap on how high the millage can be raised: 20 mil.   The real issue, however, is not the cap, it is the fact that the county anticipates the millage rate to be down up to 20%.  Even if the county raises the millage rate to the cap, 20, the effective number will be less than what is collected today at 16.42.

But why should old people care? If you are over 70 in this county you don’t pay ANY school property tax.  We sure don’t want them to pay a penny tax.  As a boomer, I can look back on the “Greatest Generation and the “Silent Generation” (1925-1945) and thank them for winning WWII and the Korean conflict.  But do I have to thank them for Social Security too?  They have been collecting at a younger age at a higher payout than they put in.

I was asked why old people should pay for schools when they have already “paid” for their kids and maybe their grandkids.  I say that they should pay because of where we are today and the fact that I am paying for them.  The kids in school are going to inherit a welfare system for old people (social security) and an unbelievable debt.  Can’t we at least give them the tools manage it in the future?

You should know that I do like old people, I hope to be one in the future.  What I am saying is that the argument for them not to pay eSPLOST is silly because they don’t pay property tax to the schools anyway.  SO, I don’t think that old people should be able to vote for e-SPLOST since they is no repercussion for their no vote.

Hugh Hall County Akston

  8 comments for “Splost or not to Splost That is the Question

  1. George T
    March 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I think they both bring up great points. We need to get more accountability from our school system, but we need to take care that we don’t hurt the next generation. The vote is tomorrow. Thanks to Josey and Hugh for giving me something to ponder on my way to the polls.

  2. Hugh Akston
    March 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Looks like an Outlaw has joined the Truth! Keep ‘em coming!

  3. Sherlock
    March 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Wow. Both sides do make valid points. All I have seen in the Times is propaganda.

    Finally, civil discourse without cussing each other out.

    Nice!

  4. George T
    March 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I placed my vote. I asked how many had come in and they said they had enough fingers and toes on 1 poll worker to keep count. I don’t know how to predict this one. I would think that a low number passes, but my NO vote will have to be overcome.

  5. Tommy
    March 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    GT

    The reason this thing was held in March in the first place was to make sure turn out would be low. If you are in government and want a tax increase, schedule the election when no one has any other reason to come out. Like March

  6. Hugh Akston
    March 15, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    It looks like the early votes have been counted and the number is a lot lower that I expected (66 votes). I will update when race has been called.

  7. Hugh Akston
    March 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    It’s over. The ayes have it: 66-34%.

  8. Josey Wales
    March 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    The “ayes” are blind. The “ayes” will SEE a property tax increase by end of year. Then the ayes will really have it.

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