Great things are happening in our community -- north, south, east and west and smack in the middle of town -- many of them made possible by our current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). If we want to keep the momentum going, then I hope all voters will give serious consideration to extending SPLOST with a yes vote on March 19 or in early voting which begins Feb. 25.
Consider the following:
• Every time someone buys flooring in our community, they are supporting our community improvements covered by SPLOST.
• Every time any one of the 62 percent of employees making more than $40,000 who works in Whitfield County but doesn't live here (and doesn't pay property tax here) buys something in Whitfield County, they are supporting our SPLOST.
• Every time someone on I-75 pulls off on any of our five interstate exchanges and spends money in Whitfield County, they are helping pay our SPLOST.
• Every time one of us spends money in any of the other 155 of 159 Georgia counties that sponsors a SPLOST we are helping fund their community improvements. Shouldn't we expect them to help fund ours?
The current SPLOST, which ends June 30, has helped fund tremendous improvements to our community such as the outstanding recreational resources at Haig Mill Lake and Edwards Park, as well as improvements to our public library, public roads and enhanced public safety with an upgraded 911 call center.
Extending the SPLOST will allow us to replace two tired and outdated county services buildings, enhance recreational opportunities for our kids, improve the Whitfield County Animal Shelter (saving the lives of more dogs and cats in the process), fund a fire station that will be constructed in the south end of the county, buy fire and patrol cars, enhance the senior center and improve county roads. We can continue the revitalization of downtown and attract even more restaurants, businesses and residents to the downtown district.
We are finally, finally making significant headway toward building the kind of community where young professionals and families want to live, work, play and stay. Let's not stop now. Let's keep the momentum going. SPLOST provides the opportunity to share the cost burden among all who spend money in our community and not just property owners. I proudly stand for working to build an even greater Dalton and hope you will join me in voting yes for SPLOST.