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Letter To the Editor: Five reasons why you should vote ‘yes’ on SPLOST



(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Augusta Press.) 

So, what’s the deal with the SPLOST referendum on my Columbia County ballot?

The Columbia County Chamber supports the SPLOST referendum and here are five reasons why you should vote ‘yes’ on SPLOST!

It’s Not a New Tax

It’s not a new tax – it’s the renewal of a SPLOST that is set to expire at the end of the year. That’s right, your sales tax rate will not go up. Right now we pay 8% in sales tax. When you vote ‘yes’ on SPLOST, you will pay 8% in sales tax. You get all the great benefits, and you won’t even pay a penny more.

Safety First

Can you put a price tag on safety? Columbia County fire department has an ISO rating of 1 – the highest rating possible. That means we as residents have the best service possible. But with our growth and some aging equipment, we need to invest in new fire engines, new fire departments and our training facilities. Just like my car insurance, I’d pay money to ensure that our first responders show up quickly and with the best equipment in hopes I never need them.

It’s Fair

Everyone pays their fair share. If you spend more, you pay more. But even if you spent $50,000 on taxable goods in a year, your SPLOST contribution would be $500 for the year – or 1%. Plus, we have the benefit of having an influx of money coming into the community during the first half of April – not to mention that our hotels average about 66% capacity throughout the remainder of the year. By voting YES, we benefit from all of those extra dollars spent in our community.

Support our Parks

Have you been to a park lately? Have you walked or biked on our greenway? Have you been to an event at Savannah Rapids Pavilion? Do you have kids playing sports? You are going to want to vote Yes on SPLOST for this alone. There is a significant investment in our parks and recreation facilities to ensure we have top-notch facilities that are safe and accessible, without having to drive across the County to get there. That in turn reduces traffic on our roads.

Keep Property Taxes Low

If you like the trend of your millage rates going down on your property, vote YES on SPLOST. Some of the things like safety and upgrading facilities can’t be absorbed and keep our property taxes at the lowest they’ve been since 1989. So if you like your millage rate where it’s at, make sure you vote YES on SPLOST.

For these reasons, and many more, we encourage you to vote Yes on the SPLOST renewal for Columbia County.

Most importantly though, please be sure to get out and vote on or before November 8!

Russell Lahodny
President & CEO
Columbia County Chamber

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  1. In all honesty I have still not decided on which way to vote on the SPLOST renewal. But I do always find it a bit disingenuous that all of the proponents seem to always try and sell this renewal as a no cost event.

    If I were somehow to spend the $50k on taxable goods in a year, and I am not sure who would spend that much, it will definitely cost me a penny. Exactly $500 worth of pennies. That is because if this SPLOST is not renewed, then everyone will pay LESS in taxes and I would save $500 on my $50k in spending.

  2. Go look at Pam Tuckers post and it will show you why to vote no..just one consulting company is getting almost 600k to pay 4 people…why is that? That’s a huge waste of money and a solid reason to tell politicians to tighten their belts just like we have to as taxpayers to live within our means..

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