published Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Taxation by voter choice

At the time of the birth of our nation in 1776, one of the biggest issues was taxes.

American colonists protested dictation from Britain, opposing “taxation without representation.”

As a matter of fact, more than two centuries after winning American independence, most of us don’t really like taxation with representation.

In our country, taxes usually are imposed by city, county, state or national officials who have been elected to represent the people.

But in some cases, there may be direct votes by the citizens on tax issues. Such was the case recently in the nearby Georgia counties of Catoosa, Murray and Walker.

The question was whether there should be a 1 percent tax on retail purchases for the purpose of raising money for school capital outlays such as construction and computers. Georgians summarized the tax issue as ESPLOST — for “Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.”

Voters in the three counties made the decision this week. And it wasn’t even close.

In Catoosa County, 1,364 voters said “yes” to the added tax, while 185 said “no.”

In Murray County, the vote was 1,691 “yes” and 139 “no.”

In Walker County, 1,124 said “yes,” while 379 said “no.”

The people had the right to decide, and the people spoke! Majority rules! It’s a fine “American way.”

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