In my infinite wisdom, I have decided the county needs more trampolines and taxpayers should buy them.
To me, it’s what bureaucrats call a capital outlay expense, which means we can use a sales tax to pay for trampolines if voters say OK.
And voters usually say OK because, well, I think because they think it’s supposed to reduce property taxes.
Now, it’s been my experience over the past decades that a SPLOST hasn’t ever actually lowered my property taxes. I can only assume they instead somehow magically keep my property taxes from going so high my hat pops off whenever I think of them. That happens mostly around the holidays, and then I think of my property taxes helping make all those people in taxpayer funded jobs with six-figure salaries happy, and that makes me happy.
I know, if I wanted to make six figures I should’ve chosen a different career path, preferably one in which I can use so much jargon and blather nobody will ever know what the heck it is I’m talking about until I’ve retired to the Bahamas. It’s too late now, though. I’m short and disheveled and hate both wearing suits and being in the same room with more than 10 people with advanced degrees.
But back to my trampoline ballot initiative. I propose we have a local option sales tax to pay for them. To make it different from all the other sales taxes we’ve got around here, such as TSPLOST and ESPLOST and SPLOST Roman Numeral Something Something Something, we’ll just call my proposal the JLOST, short for Jeff’s Local Option Sales Tax.
With it, we’ll fund all the things we need but don’t dare buy with property taxes else we rile up homeowners.
Such as trampolines. I like trampolines and because I like them I know residents are excited to maybe get the chance to bounce around town. We could be the trampoline capital of the Coastal Empire, and have trampoline competitions. It will be good for the young and old alike. Everybody needs quality trampoline time. Build it, I say, and they will bounce.
What else? Well, I also think we need armor. As in, tanks. Every city and county should have its own armor, purely for defensive purposes. What’s to stop Chatham County from deciding it likes all those various Buckheads so much it’s going to take them by force? Or swap us half of Pooler for them?
Tanks, that’s what. Because Chatham County probably doesn’t have them. Yet. Sure, neither do we, but we can get them with JLOST.
You scoff, but sales taxes frequently pay for fire trucks, for example, and police cars, and fancy SUVs for the bureaucrats, and so on. Tanks are a logical next step. In fact, some tanks I’ve come across back in my Army days might be smaller than some of the Expeditions I’ve seen some government folks around here drive over the years, and on gas bought by taxpayers. It’s a win-win situation.
Of course, operating expenses, like salaries for trampoline instructors, have to come from other revenue sources, as government calls it. Government revenue is known to regular people as taxes, but never mind that, because that’s where the genius of trampolines comes in. For starters, we’ve already got folks who can bounce on them, so we won’t have to go on a hiring spree save one or two trampoline instructors to make sure people aren’t bouncing off kilter, like hippies.
Even better, remember that everybody who buys something pays for them so nobody has to pay to use them. Unless we decide to charge a trampoline surcharge tax, which is also a possibility. That’s in part because, thanks to decades of mass migration southward by what seems to be half the Rust Belt, we’ve got so many people milling around our various strip malls it’s getting increasingly hard to turn around without bumping into somebody, often a Buckeyes fan. That’s another reason I wouldn’t mind having tanks, but never mind that. Instead, envision trampolines from one end of 144 to the other, filled with healthy, happy Buckeyes bouncing around on their daily errands. It might even ease traffic a bit and make daily commutes more tolerable. It could certainly make them more interesting, especially if a trampoline got out of tune and bounced someone in the wrong direction.
That could happen if the trampolines get overused by all the people who buy a home here to enjoy our free trampolines. So, there’s that to consider. We might need a user fee to keep the trampolines in tune.
What else could JLOST buy? Beer, sort of.
I envision if we promise voters that if they want we will buy specially built coolers hardiboard coolers, not vinyl coolers, those things look like something FEMA cooked up - to be strategically located at certain boat ramps and picnic areas.
We’ll make sure they’re stocked through certain discretionary spending funds currently used to cater government meetings and other hobnobbing and goobersmoochery practiced in the name of good government.
When the economy is good, we’ll even let taxpayers buy the ice.
Whitten is editor of the News.