Ax the Tax?

For years property owners in Georgia have been paying property taxes to help fund local public school systems, but now Georgia's House Republican leader wants to do away with those property taxes and add another three percent to the state's sales tax.

It's a plan that local education leaders disagree with.

Dr. Steve Smith, Lowndes County Schools Superintendent, says, "I think it would kind of strap some local communities who place a higher value on education and the amount of money they provide to fund education."

That's because some local governments charge more in property taxes, so the schools can benefit. Leaders with the Valdosta city school system agree with their counterparts in the Lowndes County system.

Sam Allen, superintendent of Valdosta Schools, says, "The status quo is the way to go right now until you can find a much better system because our current system is a model for the nation. There are a number of states which come and look at Georgia and its funding policy and formula."

Educators say by keeping the funding in control of local governments and residents, people will take more responsibility in the education of the community's children.

Smith adds, "I feel like when the taxpayers invest in education, they have higher expectations for education."

Meaning both students and taxpayers should get a better return on their investment.


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