In a few days, Chatham County voters will have the opportunity to renew the already-existing, one-penny sales tax, known as SPLOST, the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. Voting YES is a classic no-brainer. That's because almost 40% of the revenues derived from this already-existing- penny, comes from expenditures made by visitors to Savannah and surrounding Chatham County communities. To repeat, Chatham non-residents produce nearly 40% of the revenue. There's simply no other way to generate that kind of painless, outside, no-strings-attached help for needed local projects.
Beyond the passive-benevolence of our visitors, renewal of SPLOST is also a key-defense against the necessity of raising property taxes, always a concern for residents, but especially, for retirees and others living on fixed income. Years ago, an auto repair commercial had the tag line: "You can pay me now or pay me later." And that speaks directly to the current renewal. There are badly-needed infrastructure projects and others, throughout the county, many involving job-creation, and all, including resolving congestion on DeRenne, must be funded, to enhance quality of life, improve safety, and to keep our communities moving forward. Understand, clearly, that failure to pass the SPLOST renewal will, inevitably, trigger property-tax increases in the future.