If Patch readers’ opinions are any indication, we may not know which way today’s vote will go until the last ballot is tallied.
A Patch poll that ran from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday was split right down the middle on how respondents said they would be voting today—or had already voted during advance balloting. Today’s election will determine whether or not the county’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for school maintenance and construction projects will continue for the Cobb County School District and Marietta City Schools once the current SPLOST ends on Dec. 31.
Both sides of the SPLOST issue shared their thoughts in the comments stream on Monday’s story.
Patch reader Larry H was among those wanting to ax the tax: “As a couple on a fixed income killing off this 1% tax will be like a large raise for us. … If the school system absolutely can not live within it's [sic] means, perhaps it could have some dog park or round-a-bout money. Cobb county has enough money to provide the services we need if it would just be prudent in the use of the money it has.”
“Anyone on a fixed income who would vote to increase the tax on essentials is a bit of a fool, [in my honest opinion],” said Patch reader Curtis Mathews.
Another reader, David M. Schwartz, Ph.D., ABPdN, partly agreed with Mathews, but not when it came to today’s vote. “I would not vote for an increase in taxes. I think that would be foolish,” Schwartz wrote. “However, the current SPLOST referendum does not raise taxes. It continues the sales tax that we are already paying. It is not going up.
“On the other hand, if we don't pass it, taxes will have to go up to cover the cost of the bonds that will need to be issued.”
Susan H revealed that she had already voted in favor of the SPLOST, saying that the improvements and renovations that are on the schools’ projects lists were not extravagant. “And as for spending on gymnasiums and theaters—those enrich the lives of students, their families, AND their communities. Limited access to these opportunities in a student's everyday life because it is not a part of the family budget is all the more reason to make it available within our schools and communities.”
David Staples pointed at the gyms and theaters set to be built by the new SPLOST as he voiced his disagreement with the referendum. (Staples expanded on the reasoning behind his “no” vote in a blog published Monday.)
“… if we do pass it, taxes will have to go up to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the new gymnasiums, theaters, and other facilities built by this SPLOST. There is too much waste in this particular proposal,” he wrote.
“The waste is forcing the property owners of Cobb County to bear the burden of the capital needs versus the $200M+ that could be raised by visitors and commuters to Cobb County,” reader Lawrence responded. “Your assumption that costs go up to cover operating and maintenance costs for new facilities is incorrect because they are replacing dilapidated, inefficient facilities that have larger costs associated with utilities, maintenance, etc.”
We still welcome your comments on Monday’s article, and you may also comment here, but the best place to have your voice heard on the issue will be at the voting booth. County election sites will be open today from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Voters still waiting in line at 7 p.m. will still be allowed to cast their ballots, but no one arriving after the polls’ 7 p.m. close time will be allowed to vote.
Return to Cobb Patch sites tonight for complete coverage of today’s election.