We have kicked the building of our courthouse down the road for 20 years and the cost has only risen and the need has not gone away. All of the recent letters I have read seem to agree that the project is necessary but, as usual, nobody wants to pay for it with the proposed bond issue.

The cold hard facts are that Rockdale County has no choice but to fund a project of anywhere near this size with a bond issue. The millage rate cannot be increased to fund the project due to our Homestead Option Sales Tax, and there is no way Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds could be used under the current law.

Our SPLOST generates only $78 to $80 million in a six-year period, which means it would take two SPLOST votes to generate the required funds. Since we have five years remaining on our current SPLOST, it would be 11 years and require the passing of two more SPLOST referendums, dedicated almost exclusively to the courthouse, to raise the necessary funds. If that were done, it would mean literally NO funds for roads, recreation, senior services, public safety or water for 17 years since SPLOST is the source of capital funds for these departments.

I encourage you to vote YES on the upcoming bond issue to move Rockdale forward.

Fred Straub


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