Libertarians: When it comes to SPLOST, think fractions

The Libertarian Party of Georgia is out today with its legislative agenda.

No big surprises – the group endorses elimination of the corporate income tax, zero-based budgeting, Sunday sales of beer and wine, and so on. Read the entire platform here.

The most innovative idea may be this proposed adjustment to the use of special local option sales taxes – which are becoming a larger part of local government funding:

Many counties and cities depend on the funds from this tax and we offer the following to allow for better implementation. We offer that fractions of a percent, .5%, .25%, and .1%, rather than an entire percent be available as options for counties to consider.

We also advocate that the referendums to determine a SPLOST’s passage or failure only occur during even-numbered years’ general elections to allow for the greatest number of citizens affected to vote on the measure. Both of these proposals provide more accountability to the voters and allow for more flexibility to address actual special projects.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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16 comments Add your comment

Jeff Sexton

January 5th, 2011
12:56 pm

We also want elected officials to be more accountable to their constituencies, and hence we are also supporting elections reforms which in addition to our usual call for easing ballot access requirements also now include easing the draconian hurdles placed on initiating recall election drives. (That and more are in the link Mr. Galloway provided…)

Baker

January 5th, 2011
2:16 pm

I like the SPLOST thoughts, the even-numbered year thing should be across the board on any vote with few exceptions.

Georgia Conservative

January 5th, 2011
2:17 pm

The Libertarians’ take on fractional SPLOSTS has merit. Other states allow fractional special levies. It accomplishes two goals: 1. A smaller amount can be generated for a smaller set of defined projects — an alternative to huge “wish list” SPLOST ballots in metro counties; and 2. You could potentially have concurrent levies — with a one-cent max (one-percent cap) still in place. Just think… for purposes of discussion… a half-cent for roads and/or a tenth-of-a-cent for a new animal shelter.

The flip-side is that could turn conventional SPLOST politics on its head — a convergance of interests/projects on one ballot… many a time in an off-year election… that has proven to be a winning strategy. Accordingly, the Libertarians’ push for general-election-only SPLOST votes (every two years) also directly takes-on conventional SPLOST politics.

No Dog in this Hunt

January 5th, 2011
2:42 pm

Didn’t the last legislature change the SPLOST election laws to require them (starting in 2012) to be during statewide primaries and elections?

Bill

January 5th, 2011
2:58 pm

Groundbreaking!!

Jeff Sexton

January 5th, 2011
3:16 pm

No Dog,

No. It set one day essentially once per quarter, every year, when they could be held. This is the reason you no longer have random “1st Friday in February” votes, but 2nd Tues in MARCH is still allowed. We’re calling for these votes to be held at the exact time the vast majority of voting citizens think to go to the polls – at the General Election when either a President or a Governor is up for election.

Jennifer

January 5th, 2011
4:33 pm

I wish that they said that SPLOST’s can’t be levied on groceries. I will never, and have never, voted for one no matter how good their intentions, until it’s not levied on groceries.

Marty

January 5th, 2011
4:38 pm

About time on the fractions. Already done in many other states.

Michael

January 5th, 2011
4:59 pm

I like how republicans hate taxes but vote in droves to tax themselves whenever a SPLOST is proposed.

Intown

January 5th, 2011
5:53 pm

How does a merchant charge a fraction of a penny in sales tax? Seems like an accounting nightmare to me. Also, how about we just start paying more in income tax instead of having all these dang sales taxes? We’re already up to 8% sales tax in Atlanta. What is this, New York City?

TruthBe

January 5th, 2011
6:09 pm

NEVER VOTE TO INCREASE THESE TYPE OF TAXES!!!! Because they NEVER reduce them when the item or items are paid for. Example the Toll Roads. They NEVER take them down when the road is paid for, and they also rob the tax for other things. Example the 400 toll road. They lied to us again. People WAK$E the F@#k UP.

TruthBe

January 5th, 2011
6:10 pm

Time to throw the Tea back into the harbor.

T.J. Jackson

January 6th, 2011
8:19 am

No fractions, no more taxes, period. TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already, and I’m in total agreement with that statement. A tax is a tax is a tax, I don’t care if you call it sales tax, SPLOST, property, or whatever, it is still a tax, and we have more than enough.

Jeff Sexton

January 6th, 2011
9:45 am

TruthBe and TJ: We’re not advocating increasing taxes – indeed, many of our leadership and members are very active in OPPOSING SPLOSTS in Cobb and Douglas Counties, just to name a couple. For example, our Executive Director happens to be very active with the VoteNoMarch15.com movement.

What we are advocating here is an increased level of local control. Right now the State dictates that SPLOSTS be a full penny, thus creating local “wish list” SPLOSTs that wind up costing the taxpayers millions for projects that even their leaders don’t really want, but threw on the list to get public support for the tax. Why not allow the local leaders to decide that all they really NEED a tax for is water pipe improvements, and that to pay for that all they need is a $0.00001 tax increase – that the voters would STILL have to approve? Not only that, but the voters would still have to approve it on the very day of highest average turnout for elections – the November election day every other year, when either a President or a Governor is on the ballot.

This proposal would thus make SPLOSTs FAR more efficient, and FAR more answerable to the ENTIRE community, and not just local leaders’ friends and families.

David

January 6th, 2011
10:48 am

Libertarian David Corr in Macon Ga led the efforts to defeat splosts in 2004 and 2010 and voters followed his leadership and rejected both of those proposed splosts!

Tired of BS

January 6th, 2011
1:55 pm

Love me some fractions. Now, lets see if they can find a way to start putting some of that money back in my pocket.