Recommendations on Ballot State Constitutional Amendments
Beyond voting on candidates for civil government office from U.S. Senate, to the Governor, to state legislators, and local officeholders and judges, people going to vote for the general election will be presented with ballot questions on some significant proposed state constitutional amendments.
The SEGRA chapter has done research on the top proposed state constitutional amendments and offers the following recommendations:
NO, NO, NO AND MORE NO’SON ALL THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND ISSUES. HERE’S WHY:
1. You get no salary following a felony indictment if you are one of these guys: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioners of Insurance, Agriculture, Labor, or any member of the general assembly
- Innocent until proven guilty
- Makes it harder to fight the charges and prove innocence, since you have no income. Also, you can’t support your family.
- Most importantly, Republicans are being targeted with lawfare, making this a dangerous amendment
2. Gives big powers to grant temporary tax relief after disasters to: County governments, city governments and the boards of education of each school system.
- Confers power; not relief
- Any tax relief means shifting the burden somewhere else; onto someone else
- Picking winners and losers
- Vague: we don’t know how this will be implemented
- Why is this elevated to a Constitutional Amendment – this power will never go away
- Why are school boards allowed to make these decisions
- Anytime politicians talk about a measure in terms of “breaks my heart” and “love they neighbor”….I’m suspicious!
Note: ad valorem taxes are generally levied on real estate and major personal property like cars, boats, big equipment. Ad Valorem taxes are typically a major, if not the major, revenue source to both state and municipal government.
1. Exempt certain timber production, reforestation and harvesting equipment from the ad valorem tax.
- Why is this on the ballot? It seems to me it’s there likely because the timber industry has a strong lobby in Atlanta.
- You don’t get an exemption on your home, your car or your boat.
- Vote no for special interest exemptions
2. More exemptions! This time expanding exemptions that now apply to family farms for farming equipment and certain products. The exempt products would now include eggs and dairy products. Instead of just applying to family farms, these exemptions would now include owners of multiple farms.
- Again, family farms are already getting a number of tax breaks, why add more breaks?
- Maybe there is reason to help the individual family farm, but why extend this to owners of multiple farms/big conglomerates?
Special Election Questions
1. TSPLOST – 1% Transportation Special Sales Tax. Adds up to $420M over five years.
- The SPLOST which is a popular revenue source generated some $1.5 billion since it began back in 1985 – it has been passed over and over again ever since. Chatham County has used 73% of this $1.5 billion for roads and drainage.
- The 1% for SPLOST is still a part of our 7% sales tax.
- What have they done with the money pouring in for roads and drainage? It is still pouring in. I think this needs to be explained.
- Not only that, but sales tax is considered regressive, which means it hits low income households harder than higher-income households.
- Now, with Biden’s inflation (commonly referred to as Build Back Bloated), is not the time to increase the burden of making ends meet.
2. Taking money from Eisenhower improvements and using it to develop a big plan for improvements to county storm water drainage.
- Why do we need to pay for a plan? Drainage is part of the SPLOSH expenditures. Remember, the $1.5 billion dollars and the continuing 1% SPLOST income which is currently part of our sales tax. The majority spent on roads and drainage. Where did that go? And where is it continuing to go?
- We’ve spent all that money on drainage during the past 37 years and now…..we need a plan!!???