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An Open Letter to the Georgia House: Protect Taxpayers by Voting “Yes” on HB 153!
February 26, 2014
On behalf of National Taxpayers Union’s 362,000 members nationwide and our nearly 8,300 members in Georgia, I urge you to support HB 153, which would allow Georgia counties to propose a special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) at a rate of less than the current-law level of 1 percent and require approval by all cities within a given county.
Under present state law, SPLOST referendums only allow for 1 percent tax rate increases. By permitting even lower rates to be proposed, HB 153 would offer a measure of protection to taxpayers by giving counties more flexibility to scale SPLOST rates to only the most essential projects. Furthermore, the bill could save Georgians from unwanted local sales tax hikes by granting cities veto power over county SPLOST proposals.
Critics of HB 153 have recently asserted that local governments “deserve” SPLOST revenue. However, those critics must face the reality that SPLOST referendums are completely discretionary for taxpayers, and that HB 153 would increase transparency for municipal governments by ensuring that Georgians are not taxed at higher rates than are absolutely necessary. Right now, families throughout Georgia continue to make sacrifices to live within their means, and passage of HB 153 would help to make sure local governments do the same. For the sake of taxpayers throughout the Peach State, I encourage you to vote “yes.”
Sincerely,Lee SchalkState Government Affairs Manager