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Regardless of opinion, cast your SPLOST ballot

It seems to me that a yes vote on the upcoming SPLOST referendums in Lamar and Pike counties should be logical for property owners. However, I see numerous signs on the roadside in front of farms and rural acreage opposing SPLOST ‘“ particularly in Pike County. I don’t understand that sentiment but I am sure this column will trigger considerable input on the topic. I just don’t see a scenario in which a property owner’s vote against SPLOST makes sense. Why preclude visitors to the county and those who otherwise pay no taxes whatsoever from helping pay the bills through sales taxes? Drug dealers, welfare cheats, those who fake disabilities and everyone else who games the system have one thing in common. They spend their ill-gotten gains. So do those who live in public housing and contribute nothing through property taxes while using their share ‘“ in most cases, more than their share ‘“ of services provided by those funds. Police scanners are constantly on in my offices and vehicle. At least three times a day I hear an ambulance called to treat a child’s diaper rash or a low grade fever in an adult. These are people who pay no property taxes abusing without consequence the services provided by those who do. Why not let those people pay a little of the costs they run up through sales taxes? Many of those who oppose SPLOST say they want to send their elected officials the message they are taxed too much and the time has come to cut bloated budgets and cut them severely. I agree heartily. Government is the natural habitat of budget bloat and lack of fiscal oversight but that is no reason to vote against any sort of local option sales tax. If you see public works personnel leaning on a shovel when they should be working, call your county commissioner. If the county is buying a bulldozer when you know a perfectly good one is sitting in the county barn, demand answers and accountability. If you think deputies should not drive their cruisers home after work, contact the sheriff. If you think recreation should be funded fully through user fees, speak your mind. Don’t be afraid to stand up at a county commission, city council or school board meeting and speak your piece. Those people work at your pleasure. That is the proper way to drive home your message. Property owners sending the property tax cut message to county commissions, school boards and municipal governments by voting against the only alternative funding mechanism those governments have makes no sense at all. If you have a credible argument to the contrary, I would love to hear it! No matter your opinion, your vote is important. Cast it!

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