Paul Olson organizing opposition to Muscogee County School District's SPLOST

spauff@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 2, 2009 

The Muscogee County School District’s proposed one-cent sales tax has some formal opposition.

Paul Olson, a local political activist, will speak against the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax during a public forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 3 at the Columbus Public Library.

Olson declined to talk about his reasons for opposing the SPLOST until the forum, but said he is putting together a formal opposition group. Burt Coker, another local activist and frequent political candidate, is also part of the opposition group.

“Common sense will tell you to vote no,” Olson said.

A pro-SPLOST group, The New Day Campaign, began its efforts to promote the tax last week.

If approved by voters, the 1 cent sales tax would last five years or until the Muscogee County School District collects $223 million to complete a variety of capital projects, including five new schools — a new Carver High, a new middle school, two new elementary schools and a fine arts academy — additions to Northside High and Richards Middle, and athletics and technology upgrades across the system.

Thursday's forum is sponsored by Common Cause Columbus and will include remarks from Olson and Muscogee County School Superintendent Susan Andrews. There will also be opportunities for the public to ask questions of both speakers.

People are encouraged to submit questions to Common Cause or ledger-enquirer.com prior to the forum. Written questions will also be taken from the audience during the forum.

An oral question and answer session will be done at the end of the meeting and the ledger-enquirer.com will webcast the forum live.

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