I am against the new SPLOST proposed by the Muscogee County School District School Board; however, I plan to vote for it next month.
I oppose it because it is a continuation of what is probably the most regressive of taxes, a sales tax. Instead of “a regressive tax,” legislators of old called it the “poor man’s tax.” A penny means a lot more to someone living on a minimum wage than someone who can afford to travel in his private jet.
So, if I’m not in favor of increasing the sales tax, why will I vote for the SPLOST? Because people, for reasons that I don’t understand, will more readily vote for a sales tax than a property or income tax increase. The MCSD needs to do things like building a new Spencer High School, providing better facilities for autistic students, repairing leaking roofs, buying some new busses, and other things. It appears the only way of financing that is with a sales tax. That’s reality.
As far as the Frank Myers and John Thomas opposition is concerned , I do have to say some of their concerns are worth considering. I see no reasons to pay for another audit when we already have two, but questioning the efficacy of some no-bid purchases is reasonable; however, I don’t think that consideration should be used to trash the SPLOST. Yes, teachers do need a raise, but that comes from operational, not capital, budgets. You can place a great deal of the blame for the financial stress teachers are facing on a state legislature that has slashed public school budgets for more than a decade.