The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Sales tax discussions deserve concentration


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • May. 17, 2017 - 6:00 AM

Tomorrow is a rare occurrence in which all of the elected city and county commissioners will meet together. The goal is to discuss plans for cobbling together a package of projects for each local government in hopes there will be something to convince voters to approve a sales tax to fund them.

This would be a new tax to replace one that is expiring, meaning there would be no net increase in the rate charged on purchases in the county. The thinking behind these special-purpose local option sales taxes, or SPLOSTs, is that voters would agree to a tax for specific projects as long as it expires when they are paid for. Of course, what has happened here and in most other counties is that the local leaders find new projects to fund and a reason to ask voters to effectively extend the tax they are already accustomed to paying.

Acceptance of a current tax rate alone isn’t a good reason for extending it. And voters are free to let it end. So, the projects that Coweta’s city and county officials recommend must be worthwhile, and their arguments for pursuing them must be compelling.

Rest assured that the journalists of NTH will be diligently reporting on what comes from tomorrow’s meeting and the resulting proposals. At the same time, our editors will scrutinize what comes out. As our community’s objective, comprehensive news source, we take seriously our job in communicating government plans and educating citizens before they vote.

We are looking forward to our local elected officials bringing forth imaginative, practical ideas that will continue Coweta County’s progress. And we will be watching in hopes of a productive meeting.