1. Give your opinion of the five most valuable ways in which taxes are spent. Justify the reasons these are the most valuable.
(Even though this is an opinion, students should justify their answer to indicate that these are critical areas that must be provided in order for the people to live in an orderly society. They should indicate that without these services, the populace would be in danger of anarchy from certain groups that would not work for the common good.)
2. What would be some of the effects on the people and the operation of the state government if the most valuable of the tax-paid services were not offered?
These services must be provided in order to keep people feeling safe in an orderly society. Without these areas being paid out of public funds, the public would be in danger of being taken over by a certain group which might not have concern about the general welfare of all people.
3. Give your opinion of the five least valuable ways in which taxes are spent. Justify the reasons these are the least valuable.
(While this is an opinion, students should justify their answer to indicate that these services are not critical to provide for the common good, or that these are areas that could be supported with private funds or institutions.)
4. Conduct an internet search to find out what the budget for the state of Georgia looks like. Go through and pick out the education projects that are being funded for your school system. Add them up. How much is your school system benefiting from the state of Georgia budget?
By using a search engine, you can find this website: (Office of Planning and Budget) which will give you many, many pages of budget expenditures. Page-down or scroll through the departments until you find schools or education. Find your system and note the amount of money being spent there and for what the funds are used. This could be done as a class or in groups. Come back together to talk about how your school system benefits from the taxes paid by their parents.
5. What is SPLOST? What is it used for? Why is it necessary to vote on it?
SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. It is used by a county to fund a project that is urgently needed but the county cannot afford with present resources. It must find a way to get this money for the project. For the most part, SPLOST is used for roads and schools. The county must petition the people for this money, which usually comes from raising the sales tax on goods and services by one penny within that county. The people must vote on this by going to the polls and voting “yes” or “no.” If a majority votes “yes” for the extra penny sales tax, it becomes a law and by a certain date, the sales tax goes into effect. If the people do not want this particular project to be done, they will vote “no.” In this way, everyone has had their say in the democratic process: one person/one vote. This is the way our country has founded its government: by the will of the people. Even a penny sales tax must be voted upon by the people.