We're down to the wire on TSPLOST. And it's getting rather sporty near the finish line. But let's forget, for a moment, about the legitimate trust issues many of us have with the D.O.T. to do right by our tax money. They certainly have earned that mistrust, with 20 years of lies in regards to the Ga 400 toll booth and the ill-conceived D.U.M.B. lanes over in Gwinnett.
The proponents have a lot riding on its passage. There is a lot of money to be made, and everyone wants a piece of the pie. To the opponents, myself included, it's also about the money...MY money. Let's take a moment to consider what we are doing...to ourselves.
At the root of this thing is a penny. MY penny. Another penny on every single dollar I spend. This, on top of the 7 pennies that I already fork with every dollar I spend. (Four for the regular state sales tax, one for ESLOST, one for the new county SPLOST, and one for the "expired" county SPLOST*
Follow the math...in Walton County, that's not a penny...that's 4 cents out of every dollar of "special" taxes we've been volunteered to pay. Of course, the regular state sales tax is 4 cents on the dollar. Somewhere in there is another penny that I can't quite trace. That's 8 cents, folks. That's no penny tax...we're rapidly approaching a dime. That's on EVERY SINGLE dollar you spend.
Let's keep the math really simple and round here. One dollar = 100 pennies. One percent of 100 pennies is 1 penny, 8 percent of 100 pennies is 8 pennies.
With me so far? Good. So an everyday purchase of, say, a soda for one dollar will actually cost you $1.08 when you add all those taxes. Minus all the "special" taxes you used to pay, that soda used to cost you $1.04. That's not so bad, right? It's only four extra pennies...
But wait...now your friend wants a soda! Go ahead, buy her one. now you've spent $2.00 on soda, and 16 cents in taxes. But...now she's hungry. You buy her a bag of chips for $3.50 (which winds up costing you $3.78 with tax), but that's not what she wants. So you hit the drive through for a couple burgers with fries, at a cost of $9.00 + tax. Drive on up...that'll be $9.54, sir!
And on and on it goes. Think about adding 8 cents to every dollar you spend at the grocery store. food, diapers, school supplies, for the average family in Walton County, you're talking hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars every year. For what? To make Loganville's Main Street a one way street? Seriously...that's one of the projects on the local wish list. How exactly is that supposed to alliveate traffic on Highway 78?
Still think it's "just a penny?"
The T.E.A. party was founded on a very simple idea...that we are Taxed Enough Already. The party has broadened its message to the point where the original idea often gets lost in the noise, but the basic principle that it was founded upon is sound. Yet the voters here have quietly managed to give away our hard-earned money to assorted governement bodies, much of which goes to fund projects of questionable need.
Can't you do better things with your own money? Why not vote to keep it in your pocket this year. I encourage everyone to educate yourselves about what you're voting for...don't just take my word for it, and don't take the word of the special interests who stand to profit from your money.
Just take a look at your receipt next time you go to WalMart. Look at the real dollars and cents special "penny" taxes cost you. Think about what YOU could do with that money. Then decide for yourself if it's worth it to trust the government with it or not.
* Collections from the previous Walton County SPLOST came in well below projections and the bonds for those projects we not paid in full. The county continues to pay for those bonds out of the general fund. If that's not a hidden tax, I don't know what is!