* AN EDITORIAL * *
way of paying for schools
will cost you big bucks, so vote 'Yes' on SPLOST
editor and publisher
NORCROSS, Oct. 26 -- Want to hear what Gwinnett schools could cost
you in addition to your current school tax?
In a worse case scenario, should the voters in Gwinnett on November
6 fail to extend the one per cent sales tax for school purposes,
you could be in for a shocker.
Up for approval by the citizenry of Gwinnett is a $995,000,000
potential sales tax collection by extending the penny on the sales
tax for school infrastructure for another five years.
Realize that the continually-growing Gwinnett school-age population
will increase within the next five years. Estimates are that the
schools will add another 28,493 students during this time. These
students need classroom space. A key chunk of the $995 million goes
for constructing 1,989 more classrooms. Included in that are 20
entirely new schools.
What if the referendum fails? What would the School Board do?
They would have to raise that money in another way. That translates
into raising your property taxes.
Look at it this way.
The anticipated $995 million in revenues from the sales tax comes
out to be an average of $1,658 per Gwinnett resident over the five
years, rounding off the current county population to 600,000 people.
But if the county fails to extend the sales tax, and bonds are
used for these necessary dollars for new facilities, the interest
cost, even at current low rates, would be another $600 million.
In effect, instead of paying $1,658 as we would per capita for
sales tax, we would be paying $2,658 per capita for added school
tax over the five years, or $531 more per year. If there are three
members of your family, that's over $1,500 more per capita each
year than via the sales tax route.
It's far cheaper to fund these schools for the individual via the
sales tax route.
Of course, from sales tax collection, an estimated $400 million
(40 per cent) of the $995 million will be paid by shoppers from
outside Gwinnett County. And with not one, but three malls operating
in Gwinnett County (big generators of sales taxes) in the next five
years, the amount of sales tax paid by those from outside the county
could climb to the 50 per cent level. That only means less tax paid
by local residents.
Here's what it comes down to.
Do your part. Go out and vote on November 6, and vote "Yes"
to extend the one cent sales tax for school purposes. It's the smart
way to help pay for the added school facilities that will be dramatically
needed in Gwinnett.
* * * * *
One more aspect of the vote: the turnout in most special elections
is low. One thing is for sure: those not wanting the extension of
the sales tax will turn out to vote against it. That gives those
opposed to passing the sales tax added power, for a low turnout
could be disastrous.
Turn the tables on the "anti" forces and vote yourself,
and get your neighbors to vote for this progressive and easy way
to pay for these school costs.
10/26: Suggests solution
for federal court to de-license Microsoft products
Editor, the Forum:
The Department of Justice suit against Microsoft wants to limit
Microsoft's "excessively aggressive and monopolistic"
marketing. However, Microsoft's dominance in software and operating
systems has created a de facto "lingua franca" for information
exchange. That information exchange is a major factor in business
When an item becomes as ubiquitous as Microsoft's products, that
item frequently comes into the public domain and becomes a regulated
utility like electricity and natural gas. Microsoft has become ubiquitous,
but it's future revenue is in sales of future programs (such as
Office XP and Windows XP) and services, and NOT from revenue from
older software, and Microsoft no longer supports older software
programs (such as Windows 95 and Office 97.)
Rather than dividing Microsoft (shades of King Solomon's baby problem)
or extracting financial penalties for past activities, the "solution"
is to have Microsoft de-license software products that are no longer.
While de-licensing older software might slow sales of newer software,
the "bells and whistles" of newer software would still
drive sales based upon benefits and features.
By de-licensing older, non-supported software, Microsoft would
be "penalized, would win public support for its generosity
and magnanimity, and would increase the market potential for Microsoft
sales as the need and finances become available to a wider customer
base using older Microsoft products.
This definitely would be a win-win-win (Microsoft-Consumers-Government)
-- Allan Hytowitz, Norcross
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
About Hanging Around
"It's a lot better to be seen than heard. The sun is the most
powerful thing I know of, and it doesn't make much noise."
- - Southern Observer Bear Bryant, in The Quotable
South, by Al Dixon of Athens.
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