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Opportunities available for Newton SPLOST information

COVINGTON -- Newton County citizens still have opportunities to learn more about the education SPLOST IV referendum before voting ends later this month.

A grassroots organization, the Patriots' Table, is holding a SPLOST forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Newton County Library in Covington.

Danny Stone, manager of Economic Development for Snapping Shoals EMC and a co-chair for the SPLOST election, will speak in favor of the measure, while citizen Dennis Taylor will speak in opposition of it.

Fred Wheeler, chair of the Patriots' Table, said they will debate back and forth for about 20 minutes, and then questions will be taken from the audience for about 30 to 45 minutes or longer.

"Anybody who is unfamiliar with what's going on, I would encourage them to come out," Stone said.

Taylor said he plans to give 23 reasons why he's against SPLOST.

"It's been rushed onto us without much time for anybody to look at what's going into it," he said. "It's something we always vote on but we're not always told the whole story behind it."

Stone and fellow SPLOST co-chair Bea Jackson have spoken to several groups already about the SPLOST projects, and they said they are still available to speak to citizens or groups about the referendum. Interested citizens should contact Jackson at 770-786-4002 or Stone at 770-385-2841 or dstone@ssemc.com to set up a speaking engagement.

The special election is Tuesday, March 19, when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters can visit the Secretary of State's My Voter Page to locate their polling place.

Early voting started Feb. 25 and will continue until March 15. Voting hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Newton County Administration Building on the first floor across the hall from the election office.

"There are no Saturday hours for early voting and there will not be any early voting offered at the Porter Memorial Branch Library for the March 19th Special Election," said Donna Morrison, director of Newton County Election.

She said so far that turnout has been light with only about 50 people voting so far as part of early voting.

The current education SPLOST expires in December 2014. If the March referendum fails, the school board can call for another election as part of the November 2014 General Election.

The referendum would extend the existing 1 percent tax for education for a five-year period from 2015 to 2019, providing funds for property tax relief, school security and technology, student transportation, and school maintenance. It would be the fourth round of an education SPLOST for the county that started in May 2007.

Comments

HonestAbe 1 year, 7 months ago

If this is voted down on March 19th the NCSS will not lose a penny. The current SPLOST will not runout until Dec 31 2014. They will have another election in Nov 2014 so there would be no lapse. This way they would know more about what they REALLY need and you as voters would be able to learn more about it. As far as property tax relief, please go to NCSS web site and read the SPLOST proposal. It says MAY get 30 million in taxpayer relief. They are borrowing 62 million dollars during the current SPLOST on Bonds and have already run up over 5.8 million in interest on these bonds. So if you do get any relief it want be for awhile and want last long. I am happy somebody is trying to tell the other side of the story. By the way even tho the property mills are maxed out they CAN raise this by calling a referendrum to do so. You also might want to look at what is going on in the DeKalb school system when you give them to much money. Our property tax has been raised every single year since passing the last SPLOST. Does this tell you they care about property owners?

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henrystamm 1 year, 7 months ago

The garbage has moved here from DeKalb County and are masquerading as locals and what is worth is that past and resent politicians and developers and landowner do not and did not care about that. Shame on all and stop paying any increase of any taxes.

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henrystamm 1 year, 7 months ago

Again they are still at it. Do not advertize this rip-off, and schedule it so the majority of the residents cannot vote. We will now do our part and vote against it. Sorry state of our crookrd polititions. Shame Shame Sname.

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

henrystamm - earlier voting on this issue started February 25 thru March 15, so it seems there is plenty of time & opportunities for those that wish to vote can. The main issue maybe is to "pry" the TV remote out of the other (the typical non voters) folks hand & get them to vote - it never hurts to remind your friends & neighbors about this special election. But it is a bit amazing there are no signs out ,pro or con, or maybe I just need to have my eyes examined again - sure saw those No rail to trails signs & some Bobby Sigman signs out well after the election.

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