SPLOST IV vote may be delayed
by Lindsay Field
November 06, 2012 12:57 AM | 2814 views | 12 12 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim Stultz (MDJ File/Anthony Stalcup)
Tim Stultz (MDJ File/Anthony Stalcup)
slideshow
MARIETTA — Members of the Cobb school board and the district’s main SPLOST committee are considering delaying the public vote on SPLOST IV until a year from now, if only to give the community a break from the 1 percent sales tax.

“It may benefit the overall appeal of this next SPLOST,” school board member Tim Stultz said during a 2½-hour meeting Monday. “A, not having it within less than a year from TSPLOST, and B, having a three-month lack of collections. I don’t think it will overly affect projects, but I think having three months when we’re not collecting may actually be a good point for the community.”

Stultz said he’s comfortable with the sales tax’s project notebook in general and the proposed $30 million career academy in particular, but not necessarily with putting the tax before voters in March to avoid a three-month gap in collections in 2014.

“This would be the 20th straight year that the school district would be collecting SPLOST revenue,” said Stultz, who represents southeast Cobb. “You have fatigue in the community with that extra 1 percent, and I’m just trying to think of a way that we can show the community that yes, we need the money, we need the support for SPLOST, but we can also be at a point where we can help by giving a three-month stimulus to our local economy.”

James Wilson, the founder of Education Planners Inc. of Marietta, whose team created the project list, said if the vote were delayed until November, collections couldn’t start until April 1, 2014. SPLOST III collections end Dec. 31, 2013.

Board member Kathleen Angelucci, who represents north Cobb, said postponing the vote would also give residents more time to review the project list. She said she doesn’t think the collections gap would hurt retailers, who would have to reprogram their registers.

Later Monday, eight members of the school board’s 15-member Facilities and Technology Committee, which is tasked with overseeing SPLOST-related projects, said the process of developing the SPLOST notebook and putting it before voters was moving too quickly.

Committee Chair Kimberley Euston said she was concerned the district is rushing the process to get the tax in place by Jan. 1, 2014.

“We need SPLOST IV to pass,” she said. “I am very worried about this aggressive timeline and SPLOST passing because there is so much uncertainty around the career academies.”

Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said he respectfully disagreed with Euston, adding that when he’s talked to members of the business community or Cobb Chamber of Commerce, they seem excited about career academies and haven’t indicated any problems with the timeline.

Thea Powell asked her colleagues what their thoughts were on moving forward with SPLOST IV, and they all said they are in favor of the SPLOST but concerned about the timeline.

The F&T committee will meet at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. to consider approving the referendum before it goes to the board for an official vote the next night.

If it is approved, Cobb voters are set to consider the tax in March 2013. Collections on the five-year, 1 percent sales tax would run from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2018.

The district anticipates collecting around $718 million in for Cobb Schools and around $55 million for Marietta City Schools. Funding is determined by enrollment.

Marietta’s board will vote on the referendum next week.
Comments
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Mad Mom
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November 11, 2012
While I am no huge fan of the CCSD and CCSB, fellow taxpayers, I strongly request that you familiarize yourself with the SPLOST list. While the "luxuries" are on there - MANY necessities are too. The SPLOST is a way that we can make our school facilities and technology education up to date without depending SOLEY on the property taxpayer. The SPLOST allows ALL of us who live and spend $$$ in Cobb County to help with this. Think of all of the people who come into Cobb to see a movie, go out to dinner, go to Cobb Energy Center, the Strand Theater and MANY other places. 1% of what they are spending to do these things go to help the schools in our county. That is money that we would not have otherwise gotten. PLEASE familiarize yourself with the SLOST list http://www.cobbk12.org/splost/
Taxed Out
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November 21, 2012
I am very familiar with SPLOST (voted for 1,2,and 3)but NOT this time. I will be voting NO. Also,I will be asking friends to do the same.
Sploshed Out
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November 06, 2012
I'd guess the delay might mean two things:

1. The TSPLOST was a wake-up call that maybe we the "sheeple" aren't going to have another SPLOST rammed down our throats via a costly special election when folks are struggling to put food on the table, and/or

2. The wish list for this one is so lame even the pro-tax-us crowd won't support it.

This vote needs to be delayed until about 2025, and then forgotten about!!
74Cardinals
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November 06, 2012
Robert L. Osborne, deserves a rubber track and new buildings like Harrison.

''Say Hay All You Cardinals''

Mr. Walrus don't you think so?

Go Cardinals
Hoya Nation!
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November 07, 2012
If Osborne is in need of a new track or new buildings we will support that spending. If the SPLOST has a list that is reasonable and necessary I will consider voting for it. The Harrison family wants all Cobb school children to have great schools.
anonymous
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November 06, 2012
Like Tim said - by delaying potential collections for three months he doesn't "think it will overly affect projects."

However, delaying collections potentially delays major projects by at least one year. Under a delayed scenario, a rebuilt Osborne HS or East Cobb MS would not be ready for occupancy until the 2016-2017 school year.
Gringo Bandito
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November 06, 2012
I find it incredible that they think that after 20 years of collecting a tax, a 3 month break will make us ready to start taxing ourselves again.
Guffawed
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November 06, 2012
Did Stultz really say "three month stimulus"?

What a buffoon.

Just Sayin....
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November 06, 2012
Dr. Hinojosa is living in an alternate universe if he thinks the guys at the Chamber have an accurate crystal ball about what the voters will or won't approve. Just look at the T-Splost vote.
Just Wait
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November 06, 2012
Great idea. The school board can delay the vote for a few months and then the electorate can deny it forever.
Kennesaw Resident
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November 06, 2012
I don't think postponing the vote will help it pass. I will not vote to tax myself, expecially after Tim Lee and Helen Goreham's property tax increase last year!

I plan to vote "NO" regardless of when the election is held.
lisabhanson
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November 06, 2012
So glad that a few board members and Ms. Euston are questioning the SPLOST initiative. We need more insightful questioning of this Superintendant and board. It is amazing to me that we have board members more interested in naming the Lassiter theatre, than concentrating on the real issues here. When a board of education neglects issues at hand, to promote passing a splost which is not clearly defined and well thought out is irresponsible at best.
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