The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners has proposed a 1 percent permanent Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) which is on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
Creation of the tax can only be done by referendum. The tax would be charged on the same items as state sales taxes with the addition of groceries.
The HOST is expected to generate about $30 million per year and 100 percent will be used to roll back property taxes.
This 1 percent sales tax is a regressive tax which places an unfair burden on the poor.
The 20 percent of Cherokee residents who are renters (about 15,000 households with 45,000 people) would see no benefit from HOST and would be adversely impacted by a higher sales tax.
The national convention of The Episcopal Church passed a resolution on taxes in July 2012 committing the church to working toward a just and fair system of taxation which states in part, “Tax laws should impose proportional burdens on those with higher incomes and larger resources, in keeping with the Bible’s teaching that God favors the poor; and recognizing the great disparities in wealth and opportunity in our society, Christians should insist that our governments seek economic justice, emphasizing the care and protection of the most vulnerable — the poor, the hungry, the sick — people for whose care Christ has taught us we are responsible, both through private efforts and through the collective work of our elected government.”
Therefore, as a Christian, I urge the citizens of Cherokee to vote No on HOST.