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Vote early -- and twice -- if you're a City of Rincon resident
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Nov. 6 is general election day.
Andrew Cripps
Andrew Cripps

By Andrew Cripps

Rincon residents: I’m going to ask you to do something unusual. In the Nov. 2 election, I’m asking you to vote twice.

This is not a shifty voter fraud scheme, but a civic responsibility. While the City of Rincon is holding its municipal election for mayor and city council, the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce is asking you to consider two important ballot questions. Those questions will appear on a county ballot, separate from the city’s election ballot.

County voters are being asked to approve:

(1) a six-year extension of the current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), a tax that already funds many public safety and quality-of-life projects in Effingham, and

(2) a “Freeport” exemption to the ad valorem tax on e-commerce inventory, which will remove a competitive disadvantage for the county in attracting e-commerce employers.

The chamber of commerce encourages county voters to vote Yes on both measures.

Residents in Guyton will find their city council races and the county questions all on one ballot. Guyton City Council asked the county Board of Elections and Registration to handle its election this year, so residents can go to the county Elections Office, vote once and be done.

Springfield has cancelled its municipal election, so residents there only need to vote once at their regular polling place. The same is true for residents in the unincorporated parts of Effingham County.

To find your polling place, check your current voter registration card or go to the Georgia My Voter Page ( It will provide you with your polling place’s name and address.

The SPLOST ballot question will authorize renewal of the current SPLOST for an additional six years. SPLOST proceeds are used to fund big-ticket projects by the county and cities. Prior SPLOST-funded projects include the Clarence Morgan Sports Complex and Gymnasium, the Sheriff’s Offices and County Jail expansion, improvements at Macomber and McCall parks, Effingham Parkway, drainage and technology projects, as well as countless local roads, vehicles, and public works equipment. The renewed SPLOST will fund similar projects.

The E-Commerce referendum is not a tax. It is an exemption from inventory tax on products in an e-commerce distribution center, being prepared for shipment to consumers.

Effingham County suffers a competitive disadvantage in the fast-growing e-commerce industry, because of this outdated tax on e-commerce products. Our surrounding counties have already approved the exemption and are seeing the benefits. Effingham County already exempts most other products made here or stored in a warehouse. This referendum just extends the exemption to e-commerce products. Potential investments

made by online merchants could boost our economy, and create good paying, permanent jobs.

You can find out more about these vital ballot measures at

Andrew Cripps is the CEO of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.