You’ll pay new 1¢ ESPLOST at grocery checkout

Tue, 11/11/2008 - 4:44pm
By: The Citizen

The Fayette School Board ESPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) passed last week. So what does it mean for you?

Like 1-cent SPLOST taxes in other communities, and like the Fayette County Transportation SPLOST, the basic distinction between those and Georgia sales tax comes at the grocery store check-out line.

There will be an extra penny tacked onto every purchase for which you already pay state sales tax. And you’ll pay the extra penny also for items not now subject to the state sales tax.

Fayette voters Nov. 4 passed the education SPLOST that carries a maximum ceiling set at $115 million to be collected over five years. Collections begin in April 2009, with the first disbursements from the state expected in June, said school system Comptroller Laura Brock.

So beginning in April, shoppers in the county’s grocery stores purchasing foods to prepare at home and items such as baby food, spices and a wealth of other grocery offerings will pay an additional penny tax on each dollar. Such groceries are exempt from state sales tax. Items such as alcohol and tobacco are not exempt.

There are other types of purchases that are exempt from both state sales tax and SPLOST taxes. Some of those items include prescription drugs and a number of medical devices such as hearing aids, oxygen, insulin delivery systems, prescription glasses and contact lenses, wheelchairs for the permanently disabled and many prosthetic devices.

Also exempt from state and SPLOST taxes are labor charges on a variety of services, provided that labor and parts charges are itemized separately on the bill.

Regarding the education SPLOST and Fayette losing a 1-cent advantage with shoppers, Virginia Gibbs, president of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, said the organization had not performed an analysis of communities that added an additional SPLOST, essentially leveling the sales tax playing field with surrounding communities.

Matt Forshee, CEO of the Fayette County Development Authority, said the impact on local industry likely will only be on products purchased in Fayette County such as office supplies and the like. But most Fayette industries purchase materials out of county so they won’t be affected in that way by the ESPLOST, Forshee said.

“I don’t think it’s going to have much of an impact locally on our industry,” Forshee said.

The other big impact will be from industrial employees who dine in Fayette on their lunch breaks, he added.

A survey of the long list of state sales tax-exempted items is surprising, if not mind-boggling. Exempt from state sales tax, for example, is the sale of sugar for use as a food to honey bee producers, the sale of crab bait to licensed commercial fishermen and agricultural machinery used to process onions for sale.

For a complete list of Georgia sales tax-exempt items click here.

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Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 11:12am.

Are we as a people that collectively stupid?

Submitted by susieq on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 11:47am.

The answer is: the people who voted for it.

Submitted by Spyglass on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 12:54pm.

Sometimes, it just prints the obvious.

Submitted by Incognito on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 12:27pm.

So you are saying that the majority of the Fayette County voters are stupid? Methinkst that you are a little too full of yourself. Most people who think that way are more stupid than the ones they disparage.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 8:31pm.

what are we saying? that those that voted for you are ..yes..stupid???....what else could 'methinkst'?

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 7:30pm.

When this may mean the difference for some standing on the edge, they and their children loosing their homes, you much be really proud of what you swelled out of the helpless. Hope you and developers that benefit...reap what you sew.

Submitted by inmanteacher on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 8:18am.

I hope the community that is supported by development does benefit...bankers and all bank employees, real estate professionals and all their employees, architects who draw the buildings, surveyors who measure the land, electricians and all their office employees, brick masons, framers, cabinet makers, carpet and flooring suppliers and laborers and all other subcontractors, the material supply companies and all their employees, the mechanics who work on all their vehicles, the auto dealers who sell them their cars, the airlines who sell them tickets when they are getting paid, the stores that sell them goods when they can afford them, the accountants who serve them...heck, I'll even throw in the IRS and the Georgia Department of Revenue and the Fayette County Tax Commissioner who use the revenue to provide services everybody uses (like roads, schools, fire protection, police protection, etc.) to the citizens. It's just math and people like you who think that development is evil and developers are just greedy are just stupid.

I don't know or even care about this Janet Smola you keep harping on all the time. You need help.

Once you get help, learn something about economics. The economy of this community depends on GROWTH. I'll pay my pennies with a smile and hope my husband keeps his job. While I hope my husband keeps his job, I'll hope that Fayette flourishes and grows and brings students for me to teach and that there will be jobs available for them when they grow up.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 7:40pm. never asked for it, for the kids are trying to act like Mary Poppins, instead of the one that let a big one on the taxpayers. That is all you are...a big thing of ugly smelling air that the rest of us have to endure till your cronie comes up for re election...or some working on it ...get the goodies on the LLCs...and they will...

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 7:44pm.

there are loop holes to drag people out...sleep tight..! smiley face!! if I could give you one...ho ho ho... Some are going to enjoy this..

Submitted by Incognito on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 10:12pm.

Couldn't help but to point this out--you can rip what you sew, or you can reap what you sow, but you cannot reap what you sew.

I hope that the bitterness doesn't affect your online personality.
Have a happy day!!!

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 6:33am.

Disgusted at mismanagement of hard earned money by irresponsible people.

Disgusted at having to give them more because of their stupidity and glutney.

Disgusted developers who will reap millions, have donated nothing.

Disgusted small children will pay the price with long buss trips to very large schools in the middle of no where past developer owned fields.

Disgusted that you can't find the all the silent partners in the LLCs, yet.

Disgusted there is 2 more years before you can get vote out one of the 3 amigos and get someone who will make decisions with every one's children in mind.

Submitted by swac on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 8:20am.

SUGGARFOOT we get the picture, you do not like Janet Smola on many levels. We have read your rants for months. Give us all a break- get over it.
I voted for esplost. At my age I do not pay school taxes but I want to live in a area with a strong community ethos and a strong school system is an essential part of that ethos.
In difficult times the present school board has done a good for our children and grandchildren. Let us give them the support they need.
Constructive criticism is appreciated but unfounded rants serve no purpose

Submitted by fayette678 on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 10:54pm.

suggarfoot you are obsessed with the Smollas. You need to get a life or off the short bus. I voted for esplost and I do not have children. I pay taxes and once cent more a dollar is not going to kill me nor do I begrudge a child that may need it. If that extra cent puts some one over the edge than they were to close to it anyhow.

Submitted by inmanteacher on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 8:01am.

Long bus trips? The schools aren't in the middle of nowhere. The two newest schools are within five minutes of the schools the kids used to go to and closer for most of those kids. Inman Elementary sits on land bought from a goat farmer who'd had it in his family for generations. I don't know who owned the land for Rivers.

Very large schools? Inman & Rivers are the same size. They are both smaller than Burch, Cleveland, Crabapple, Huddleston, Minter, Peeples and Spring Hill.

Before you ask...I'm going in late today. I have a doctor's appointment this morning.

Submitted by Okie on Wed, 11/12/2008 - 9:15am.

Well, Rivers was named after the Rivers family. I think it was going to be Tillman after the road they put it on, but since they are taking part of Tillman for that *%# bypass, I believe they will be changing the name of our part of Tillman Road to something else. They will only be paving the section of Tillman that is going to be included in the bypass. The rest gets to stay gravel. Lucky for them. Would anyone be interested in buying a nice house on 20 acres?

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