Jackson County is broke. That’s old news at this point. Our roads are in terrible shape, the Sheriff does not have enough deputies and county employees are leaving for better jobs left and right.
What has our local government done to try and fix this problem the county has had for years now? Nothing. After the citizens of Jackson County voted against a one-cent sales tax in 2015, there has been no new legislation brought forward to bring money into Jackson County.
The county commission has sent several resolutions and proposals to the legislative delegation, but nothing has come out of it. The two sides met last October, but there was no definitive solution to the problem.
The commission wants a one-cent permanent sales tax. The delegation wants a temporary special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST). The SPLOST does not fix the problem. It would have a sunset clause, meaning if it was voted in this year, it would have to be voted on again in four or six years. What happens if it is voted against after the four or six years are up? The county is back where it started, and it would probably be in worse shape it relied on that money to operate.
Also, the delegation does not need the commission’s permission to put legislation on the ballot. If the delegation really wanted to get something done for Jackson County, it would have done so by now.
The commission is not blameless in this situation either. They seem to be unwilling to do anything other than a permanent one-cent sales tax. Would that fix the problem all together? Yes, it would. Will the delegation sign off on the permanent one-cent sales tax? No. Instead of working with the delegation to find a solution, the commission has taken shots at them. In recent meetings, the commission has wasted time arguing about vehicles and things that ultimately do not matter.
It’s time for both sides to grow up, put their differences aside and do what’s best for the people of Jackson County. If they don’t, everything will continue to get worse.
The citizens of this county deserve better.