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Officials Urge Continuation of Sales Tax
Friday, 09 May 2014

May 9-- Toombs County voters who go to the polls for the May 20 primary elections will decide if they want to continue a one penny sales tax to support major projects and purchases by local governments.

Vidalia City Manager Bill Torrance says, "The first thing for everybody to know is that it's a continuation.  It's not a new tax.  It's a continutation of an existing one cent  sales tax that goes for special projects.  The City of Vidalia shares that tax with Lyons and Toombs County and one percent goes to Santa Claus."

If voters turn down the continuation of the sales tax, Toombs County Manager John Jones says local governments will have no choice but to turn to increased property taxes for capital outlays.

"It would then come down to a question of talking about what the tax millage rate would be then, " he said.

The fact that Toombs County is a regional shopping hub is a plus for local taxpayers, according to Jones.

"A lot of that sales tax is paid by folks who are not from Toombs County.  They shop here and help pay that sales tax.  A lot of that sales tax we need to buy items for county government is paid for by folks from outside the county," he notes.

As far as Vidalia taxpayers are concerned, Torrance says it's vital that voters vote yes for the sales tax.

"Without this Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax continuing, we could have a destablization of property taxes and potential escalation of water rates.  This is an excellent way to spread the tax burden across all lines and have the folks who come to shop in Toombs County help pay for infrastructure projects that we need so badly," Torrance said.

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