Voters trickled in to polling locations in Lawrenceville and Norcross Tuesday afternoon.
Buddy Corley, a retired pilot, begrudgingly voted in favor of the renewal.
“I don’t like any tax, but bottom line is a sales tax is a good way of doing it. It’s the lesser of two evils.”
Amanda Martin, 37, was more enthusiastic, saying that SPLOST “has done great thing for the county” over the past 28 years.
Earlier, voters trickled in to Hopewell Baptist Church in Norcross Tuesday morning to cast ballots for or against the renewal of a penny sales tax in Gwinnett County, and they weren’t shy about sharing their opinions.
The state’s second-largest county has used the special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST, for nearly three decades to help pay for everything from roads and government buildings to police cars and parkland.
Dennis Wilson, 45, sees no reason why it shouldn’t continue based on the benefits local residents have reaped over the years.
“I want the government to be prudent with my money, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job with SPLOST money,” Wilson said. “What they’ve done historically was a good use of funds. It was well used, and well needed.”
Norcross attorney Gordon Tomlinson, who heads a nonpartisan volunteer organization called the Progressive Development Committee, said he only knows a few naysayers. And most of them don’t understand that this is not a new tax, but a continuation of one that has already been in place for years.
“They don’t realize the benefits of what SPLOST has done in the past and what it can do for us in the future,” Tomlinson said.
But Deborah Lowry, who exited the polls around 9:30 a.m., said she voted against the SPLOST because it is just “TSPLOST in disguise,” referring to the regional transportation plan that was soundly rejected by metro Atlanta voters last July.
“There’s no accountability,” Lowry said. “And we don’t have money to throw away.”
A three-year renewal on Gwinnett County ballots is estimated to raise $498 million. About a fifth of the money would go into the coffers of the county’s 16 cities. About 70 percent of the county’s share would be spent on transportation projects.
A Lawrenceville pastor wants his congregation to know the good news about the Gospel of Mark. Dean Sweetman, senior pastor of the C3 Church, has challenged his members and anyone else interested to read the New Testament book in its entirety over the next year and post Instagram photos of their notes.