Cobb, Marietta parents split over education sales tax

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Parents are facing off over of a controversial vote to extend a one-cent sales tax in Cobb County. If approved, the money collected from the education Special Purpose Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) will go toward Marietta City and Cobb County schools.
MARIETTA, Ga. —

Parents are facing off over of a controversial vote to extend a one-cent sales tax in Cobb County.

If approved, the money collected from the education Special Purpose Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) will go toward Marietta City and Cobb County schools.

Walton High School is one of the high schools that would be replaced under the plan. Students say it's overcrowded and they need new space desperately. Opponents, however, question whether the tax money is being spent wisely.

Channel 2's Rachel Stockman spoke to both sides of the debate on Sunday.

Armed with their signs, parents, children and Cobb County taxpayers gathered in Marietta Square to urge others to vote "No" on the education SPLOST, which is a referendum to extend a one-cent tax on consumer goods that is set to expire.

The tax money would help pay for the replacement of old schools, maintenance and renovation, as well as technology, and paying down debt.

Cobb parent Laurel Harmon brought her son to the rally.

"There are so many projects that have nothing to do with education and many projects will not be completed," Harmon said.

"I know that people are very wasteful with our money and we need better people running our government," said Harmon's son, Christopher Harmon.

Right next to the opponents, supporters of SPLOST also showed up.

"We are for continuing the tax, so our kids can have proper learning," said Dwight Morgan.

His son, Miller Morgan, is a freshman at Walton High School, which would be rebuilt under the SPLOST plan. Miller says the school is overcrowded.

"It's kind of like a fight to get a seat at the cafeteria," Miller said.

But others worry how the money is being budgeted.

"Walton does need a new school, but the numbers being used in this project list are inaccurate," said Cobb parent Kimberley Euston.

Supporters say not only is the money necessary to attract business to the area, they say 30 percent of the tax dollars would come from shoppers, who live outside of Cobb.

'What a disadvantage for someone to want to fail this, especially because we can look at the history of what SPLOST has done for the community," said John Loud, co-chair of United for Kids, which backs the SPLOST referendum.

The vote is set to take place March 19.

Click here for more information on the SPLOST 4 Education.