Aye matey! It’s vote like a Pirate day on July 31, 2012. This is the day that Georgians will go to the polls to impose a 1% sales tax on themselves called T-SPLOST. The problem is your vote will not count for much if you live in a small county.
The Georgia Constitution is remarkable in that it allows for “Home Rule” or county self-determination. It has been that way since Georgia started chartering counties. This Regional vote scheme of T-SPLOST completely dismantles “Home Rule” and disenfranchises thousands of voters. Many believe it violates the Georgia Constitution.
T-SPLOST lumps counties into Georgia’s 12 Regions set up in the early 1970’s during the Carter administration to deliver social services. These regions are not re drawn and proportionally balanced by population, as we do all congressional districts, state house districts, senate districts, and county commission districts. This means the votes from rural counties don’t count for much. Your vote will be overridden by the large counties in your Region.
For example, in Region 1 if Whitfield, Bartow, Paulding and Floyd counties vote 60% YES for the T-SPLOST, it would take 71% of all other counties to vote NO in order to vote it down. If you live in a rural county with a small population you really don’t get a vote and there is no county opt-out clause. 100% of the legislature supported a county opt-out clause, but the sponsors of the Bill successfully blocked an up/down vote.
There is plenty of loot in Piracy. Vote NO T-SPLOST.
It’s always hard to educate anyone to believe that there are some instances in which the Constitution, correctly read, does not yield the outcome they’d prefer. – Kevin R. C. Gutzman, JD, PhD
State of Georgia Tea Party, LLC