The Cobb County polls close at 7 p.m. today for anyone interested in voting on whether the special purpose local option sales tax education initiative should pass.
If approved, the Cobb and Marietta school districts will collect approximately $773.3 million between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018. Cobb will get about $717.8 million and Marietta $55.4 million.
Lance Lamberton, with the Cobb Taxpayers Association, has been an outspoken critic of the initiative ever since the school board approved it to go before voters last fall.
His organization has been meeting on a regular basis to discuss why it should not pass.
He’s hoping to have a few members who will be out and about today waving their “Ax the Tax” signs and in the community talking to potential voters.
He can’t say for sure how the vote will turn out but believes the SPLOST will be defeated, despite its being an uphill climb. The history of education SPLOSTs across Georgia shows they are difficult to derail, especially when they are in a special election with nothing else on the ballot.
“I don’t want to discourage people to not vote, but the odds are against us because of the low voter turnout, and there’s an emotional plea on the other side that this is for the kids,” he said.
His reminder to those still on the fence about the vote: “Voting down this thing does not mean the end of all education SPLOSTs.
“What we’re trying to do is change the dynamics from a perpetual SPLOST to a judicial SPLOST for where and when it’s needed,” he said.
Cobb Taxpayers Association will be hosting an election night party at Williamson Brothers BBQ on Roswell Road starting around 6:30 p.m.
On the other end of the spectrum are John Loud and the nonprofit organization United 4 Kids.
The group has been out in full force for about a month campaigning, and they have posted nearly 1,500 yard signs in support of SPLOST IV.
“I think it’s going to be a matter of all the push to get the vote out,” he said Monday. “We’ve been very successful to identify a lot of our voters, where they are, and now it’s a matter of reminding them and encouraging them so they vote for SPLOST.”
He expects a victory tonight and said support for the initiative has been better than anticipated.
“I would love for (voters) to look at the successful track record for the last 14 years, look at the audits, the openness to publish this 154-page notebook,” Loud said. “Look at the big picture, what it’s done for our kids, the staff, property values, and economic driving values of why people want to come to Cobb.”
United 4 Kids will be meeting at Willie Rae’s on the Marietta Square at 7:30 p.m.
A detailed Cobb Schools project list can be found at cobbk12.org and for Marietta, marietta-city.org.
For more information about voting locations or a sample ballot, visit elections.cobbcountyga.gov.