3704 Tate Place
Austell, GA 30106
AUSTELL, Georgia – The Cobb County Taxpayers Association (CCTA) , which opposes the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and Citizens for Cobb’s Future, which supports it, have agreed to have a public debate on the issue. The Cobb County Commissioners voted to put the measure on the ballot for March 15, 2011.
The debate will take place on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm at 100 Cherokee Street in Marietta, GA. It will be cablecast on Cobb County’s public affairs channel 23. Representing the opposing position will be CCTA president, Lance Lamberton. The pro position will be represented by Rose Wing, Chair of Citizen’s for Cobb’s Future. Each side will have a five minute opening statement and a three minute closing statement. Questions will be submitted in writing from the audience and from the moderator. The debate is being sponsored by The League of Women Voters.
CCTA initiated the request for a debate. In a letter to Citizens for Cobb’s Future Lamberton wrote: “I am writing to invite your group to participate in a forum to help Cobb voters make as informed a decision as possible when deciding whether to support or oppose this year’s SPLOST. I believe having such a forum is in keeping with a statement made by your group in a press release that you plan to “run an aggressive informational campaign throughout Cobb County.” I can think of few better ways to inform the voters of the arguments, both pro and con concerning the SPLOST, than to hold a debate where we can articulate a candid exchange of viewpoints.”
Lamberton is a long-time taxpayer activist going back to the late 1970s where he worked in Washington, D.C. for the National Taxpayers Union and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He then went on to serve as the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Policy Information under President Reagan. In that role he authored the administration’s position paper in support of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He has been a resident of Cobb County since 2001, where he lives with his wife, Cheryl Lamberton.
Lamberton will also be appearing as a guest on the Denny Schafer [sp?] show to discuss the SPLOST on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, with the interview to begin airing at 9:30 pm. Denny’s show can be heard on talk radio 920 AM.
If the SPLOST is defeated, Cobb County’s sales tax would decline to 5%, making it the lowest sales tax in the state. Most counties in the Atlanta metro area have a sales tax rate of 7%. “This significantly reduced tax rate would be a boon to Cobb County residents and businesses, saving consumers hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over a four year period,” Lamberton said.
CCTA was formed in 2005 to oppose passage of that year’s SPLOST, which won approval by the slimmest of margins; 114 votes out of over 40,000 cast. The closeness of that vote was accomplished despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by SPLOST proponents.