Let’s try a different approach to stimulate growth

Published 7:31 am Friday, July 27, 2012

We were told if we built Bainbridge College, jobs would come. We built it, and although it’s a fine institution of learning, our children still don’t have enough jobs and are still leaving.

We were told if we four-laned Highways 84 and 27, businesses would come. We four-laned them, and we’re poorer than ever. We were told if we brought Wal-Mart to Bainbridge, it would bring new businesses with it. We brought it; the new came, but the old left. Net: zero! We were told if we built a new super-sized high school, businesses would be falling over themselves to come to Decatur County. We built it. Not only did the businesses not come, we can’t pay the bills.

Now, we are told if we pass T-SPLOST, we won’t be able to count the jobs that will come flooding our way, and happy days will be here again! Perhaps we have the proverbial cart before the horse. We may soon have a sales tax rate of 8 percent, a rate higher than most mortgage rates, higher than the return on most investments, and higher than the tax rate of many major cities.

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Maybe we should try something different. Why don’t we reduce our sales tax rate, and see if they come? Since spending money and increasing taxes appear to drive businesses away, perhaps the inverse will draw businesses to us.

A good example is Dalton, Georgia. With the downturn of the housing market, Dalton, the carpet capital of the world, lost hundreds of jobs. They have cut spending and brought their sales tax rate down to only 5 percent. Where do you think businesses will choose to go?

Perhaps Bainbridge and Decatur County can take a lesson from our neighbors up north and try a different approach. As for me, on July 31, I’m voting “no” to T-SPLOST!

Brenda Huggins