20 Aug 2014
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Cherokee Voters To Consider New Sales Tax

Voters across the county will consider a new sales tax, elect new state representatives and possibly put some new faces on the Holly Springs City Council.

Cherokee Voters To Consider New Sales Tax Cherokee Voters To Consider New Sales Tax

UPDATE: 2:15 p.m.: Poll manager at the Dixie precinct (Woodstock High School) said turnout has been steady, with no more than a 5 minute wait!

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Voters on Woodstock-Towne Lake's Facebook page indicate several reasons as to why the came out to vote: change in leadership, "4 more years" of President Barack Obama, the economy, jobs, immigration, the national budget, civic duty and "protecting our Amercian freedoms as outlined in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence."

UPDATE 1:00 p.m.: First-time voter Jamie McCord of Woodstock said she was "excited" to cast her ballot in the presidential race at the Deer Run precinct, located at Towne Lake Community Church. Another male voter who lives in Woodstock, who did not want to give his name, said he came out because he was concerned about the state of the national economy and "how we are treating our military." 

UPDATE 12:40: about 450 voters have come through to vote at the Booth precinct at E.T. Booth Middle School. Voter Ken McGhee of Towne Lake said he came out to support Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"I think this is the true change we need need to believe in," he said. McGhee also had strong words on the proposed Homestead Option Sales Tax, which he voted n.

"They don't need more money," he said, referring to the county government. "They need to manage they money they have." 

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: about 440 voters have cast ballots at the Woodstock precinct at Woodstock Public Library. 

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: 846 voters have voted so far at the Little River precinct at Little River Elementary School

UPDATE: 11:00 a.m.: Voters on Woodstock-Towne Lake Patch's Facebook page have stated they've had minimal wait times at the polls, ranging from five minutes to 15 minutes.

While voters in Cherokee County don't have many contested races on the Nov. 6 ballot, there won't be a shortage of issues they will consider.

Along with choosing the next president and vice president of the United States, voters across the county will consider imposing another sales tax while other residents will vote in state house, state senate and city council races.  

If approved, the Homestead Option Sales Tax would impose a one percent sales tax that would be used to rollback the county’s M&O property taxes. It does not apply to the school, fire district taxes and parks bond imposed by the county. Nor does it apply to city property taxes.

Georgia law requires two questions to be placed on the ballots and residents have to vote yes on both in order for it to pass. Once enacted, the HOST does not have a sunset provision; it can only be terminated by referendum. 

The law allows the county to use up to 20 percent of the funds for capital purposes. However, the Cherokee County Commission approved a resolution stating the board will use 100 percent of the proceeds to roll back property taxes as long as a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax program is in place.

Holly Springs Voters To Pick Two Council Members

Voters in Holly Springs will elect two members of the city council, with a third seat and the mayorship being unopposed races. The race for Post 3 pits incumbent Michael Zenchuk against challenger Alex Berkobin. In Post 4, challenger Bob Kovacs will try to unseat incumbent Karen Barnett. Post 5 incumbent Jeremy Smith and Mayor Tim Downing have no opposition on the ballot.

Patch reached out to all candidates involved in contested Holly Springs elections, and received three responses. Click on the links to read the question and answer articles of candidates Berkobin, Zenchuk and Kovacs.

At The State Level

Voters in State House District 20, which includes Towne Lake and parts of Woodstock, will also choose their next state representative. Republican Michael Caldwell will face Democratic Challenger Lillian Burnaman today while Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), Rep. Sean Jerguson (R-Holly Springs) and Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Hickory Flat) have no Democratic challengers on today's ballot. 

County voters will also vote on the proposed Amendment 1 ballot question, which if approved would create a separate state-level commission that could approve charter schools. Those schools would be approved even if local boards of education denied their petitions. 

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