The fair and correct way to meet transportation needs
I have seen a few signs encouraging citizens to vote “no” on the renewal of the Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLSOST. I believe those promoting a “no” vote are misinformed as to the good that TSPLOST provides Effingham.
County residents approved the first TSPLOST in 2020. That sales tax is committed to road improvement and construction. In the first TSPLOST of 2020, the county was able to commit the $17 million dollars required to match the state funding and begin construction on the Effingham Parkway. The new parkway has been needed for years to relieve congestion to and from Savannah, and will be completed in 2025. It will reduce large truck traffic on local roads and decrease travel time to and from school and work for Effingham residents. The first TSPLOST also allowed us to resurface many local roads and has provided the funding for design and construction of intersection improvement along Hodgeville from Hwy 30 to Blue Jay Road. These improvements and others will be completed in 2025 and will make for more timely and safer travel, but county road improvements continue to be a priority for Effingham.
The county continues to grow, and new road construction along with additional improvements are needed to make travel within and out of the county timelier and safer for all of us. Renewal of the transportation sales tax, TSPLOST, will continue to provide alternate funding for the road infrastructure needs so that property taxes do not have to be increased to fund road needs.
In fact, the Effingham Board of Commission has reduced the property tax levy for 2023 from 6.939 to 5.939. That is a 14% reduction in the county’s tax rate. That is huge for every citizen. This lower millage has reduced the property tax burden for Effingham property owners by $3.2 million dollars for 2023 AND for each subsequent year thereafter. For the five-year term of the proposed TSPLOST, that is an additional $16 million in reduced property taxes for all property and business owners. Added together that is a total of almost $20 million returned to the citizens of Effingham. When tax bills are sent out next week, most residents should notice this reduction in their county operation and maintenance (O & M) taxes. TSPLOST makes this possible.
Another fact that most residents do not know is that an estimated 45% of the revenues from the proposed transportation sales tax is collected from utility companies, wholesale distributors, and guests in our county, reducing the cost of the TSPLOST on individual residents. This means TSPLOST lessens the financial burden on our residents and property owners for needed transportation improvements. Why should property owners be the sole providers of transportation improvements when all of us use these roads?
Visit www.effinghamcounty.org and check out the many roads that will be improved as a result of voting “yes” for TSPLOST.
The facts are that TSPLOST provides improved roads, new roads, and lowers property taxes, all things I desire and appreciate from my local government. Based on the facts, I believe TSPLOST is good for Effingham residents who want safer and more timely commutes to work, school, recreation, and shopping, and it is particularly good for property owners who do not want to shoulder the cost of road improvements alone.
Many reading this letter may recognize my name and that I am currently serving as the chairman of the board of commission, but I’m not writing this letter within that capacity or sharing a position of any other board member or county official. I write this as a concerned citizen, wanting to do what is right for my friends and neighbors.
TSPLOST is good for ALL Effingham residents.
Effingham resident of 44 years
Wake the Sleeping Giant
We're busy. We've got work, soccer practice, church obligations, grocery shopping, kid plays, and a million other things to do that are vital to living our lives. These things are important and I do not make light of them. I have my family, my church, my city, and my business and all are important parts of my life. I do not sacrifice my time easily.
Once a year, we are given the opportunity to decide how we want our community to operate. The simple act of voting for which people have bled and died, fought and lost loved ones, and spent countless hours dedicating their lives to preserve is paramount to making a better society for all who live in it.
We get to choose. We make these choices either by voting or by choosing not to and allowing others to decide for us. Many are in the silent majority, those who decide to stay out of politics and don't want to be bothered. They believe things will always be the same, regardless of who is in office. Life will carry on and one vote doesn't matter. This is not true.
In 2019, Guyton had a tie vote for a council seat. One vote would have changed the outcome. In local elections, one vote means everything. Compared to a national election, a vote in Guyton is over 76,000 times more powerful.
Countywide, TSPLOST is on the ballot. A vote for TSPLOST is a vote for guaranteed road improvements paid for by businesses, home owners, renters, and tourists alike. A vote against or not voting is a vote for higher property taxes paid by property owners and eventually renters when their leases run out and rental rates go up to compensate. TSPLOST is a proven method locally of lowering millage rates and improving the quality of life in Effingham County.
Guyton, Springfield, and Rincon elected offices are also on the ballot. These offices are important as the people chosen not only decide the futures of our cities, but must also work with each other, the county, the region, and the state in a time of incredible growth. We need leaders focused on our cities, not Facebook. The decision makers who provide your police, firefighters, water, sewer, recreation, and spend your hard-earned tax dollars are yours to choose. It only costs you a few moments of your time to decide the future of our community.
Speak up. Be heard. GO VOTE!
Mayor Russ Deen,