Support ‘shaky’ among some voters for Cobb Ed-SPLOST
This year’s election is scheduled for Tuesday Nov. 2, but early voting has already begun on a topic that has many in the community split on its support. Cobb County’s Ed-SPLOST VI, the billion-dollar education sales tax, may not be the slam dunk that many supporters assume it will be when voters go to the polls.
The Chamber of Commerce is leading the support of the Ed-SPLOST VI in the community but finds itself up against many residents who are on the fence, while other groups have declared the SPLOST tax DOA (dead on arrival), as they urge voters to vote no.
Some of the complaints that have echoed through the community include the school board being poor stewards with taxpayer dollars, while others point to the failure with the past three SPLOST to spend the funds equitably, pointing to areas within South Cobb that have been ignored for communities in other parts of Cobb with state-of-the-art school facilities. Anti-SPLOST members of the community are demanding that the school board and superintendent provide more information on what happened with the funds from the last three SPLOST. Those who regularly attend the school board meetings point to strife on the board and the failure to deal with racism as the reason they will vote no.
One South Cobb resident told us, “Unfortunately, South Cobb has historically been treated unfairly when it comes to services, spending money in our community that has been approved for schools, and other community related matters. We have seen the broken promises in South Cobb, so citizens from our community should do their homework. If something does not look right or cannot pass the ‘smell test,’ why should we support it year after year?”
The SPLOST tax is supposed to be used for special projects including new construction, but some school board watchers say the school districts have used the SPLOST for funding their day-to-day operations. They point to millions in SPLOST dollars going to the renovation of existing buildings and the replacement of aging technology.
If approved, the referendum would take effect January 2024, right after the current education SPLOST ends. Ed-SPLOST VI would run five years, through the end of 2028.