Message of SPLOST defeat: No more taxes

I take exception with some of [reporter John] Munford’s words in the headline article of today’s Citizen. Mr. Munford wrote that citizens “shot down” a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) “that would have helped ease budget concerns.”

First, the phrase “shot down” is loaded with emotion; the use of such a phrase suggests that Mr. Munford was writing commentary, and not reporting news. To have said that citizens “voted down” the SPLOST would have been more accurate. In matter of fact, the vote was actually (although perhaps not technically) on the continuation of an existing SPLOST supposedly dedicated to transportation but which, in my opinion, has become a “cash cow” for county and city governments.

Which leads to my second point: having become accustomed to the SPLOST revenues, our county and city governments have, in my opinion, become rather lazy with regard to budgeting. The SPLOST would not have “eased budget concerns”; rather it would simply have kept governments from having to make hard decisions — the decisions we elect them to make.

The defeat of the SPLOST may have had a more beneficial effect than even its most ardent opponents dreamed: it may actually force our government officials to do their jobs a little better.

In conclusion, let me suggest that having voted down the SPLOST, the citizens have sent a clear message to our elected representatives at the city and county level. That message is, “No More Taxes.” I did not vote against the SPLOST so that my property taxes could be raised to balance the lost SPLOST revenues; I doubt that many others did, either.

I ask and urge the Peachtree City mayor and City Council, and the Fayette County government and school board to do keep this in mind as they develop and execute their budgets.

Paul W. Lentz, Jr.

Peachtree City, Ga.