The questions are in, but the answers won't come until July 18.
On Monday, Columbia County's Republican and Democratic parties submitted the questions each would like to have placed on the upcoming July 18 primary election ballot.
The Democratic Party had a list of 11 questions, the first asking whether voters support a consolidation/incorporation in Columbia County, a move that the all-Republican county commission promoted in the past year.
The consolidation idea didn't make it to a referendum this year as the area's state legislators didn't present it before the Legislature. Some, such as Commission Chairman Ron Cross, however, say they believe consolidation will be brought up again.
On the Republican side, a total of 14 questions were submitted for the ballot. That party's first question asks voters whether Columbia County should continue encouraging retail development.
The following is a list of the ballot questions submitted; all require yes or no responses:
Columbia County Republican Party
1. Should Columbia County continue to encourage retail development, which would increase sales tax revenue for the county, potentially offsetting personal property tax increases?
2. Would you be in favor of legislation that would abolish property taxes and replace it with a statewide sales tax that would be used to fund education?
3. Would you be in favor of legislation that would abolish the current state income tax code and replacing it with a statewide sales tax?
4. Are you in favor of the bond referendum being proposed by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners?
5. Should the county, excluding the cities of Harlem and Grovetown, become an incorporated/consolidated government entity?
6. Do you feel that the county and state are doing an adequate job to handle current traffic issues and effectively preparing the county for the future traffic requirements?
7. In addressing the current immigration issues, should the proposed solution include an amnesty or guest worker provision?
8. Do you believe the implementation of a school voucher program would bring about improvements in education?
9. Would you be in favor of abolishing the current storm water fee system and replacing it with an additional one cent sales tax with the condition that the tax would be abolished once the current storm water deficiencies have been corrected?
10. Would you be in favor of the cities of Harlem and Grovetown consolidating with Columbia County to form one consolidated government?
11. Do you believe the next high school built in Columbia County should be geared toward vocational and technical education?
12. Do you feel that the federal government should intervene in the business operations of publicly traded companies when they are showing large profits?
13. Do you believe that one day a sports/civic arena should be located in Columbia County?
14. Should the Columbia County Board of Commissioners require all future residential developments include sidewalks in the development?
Columbia County Democratic Party
1. Do you support the consolidation/incorporation of Columbia County?
2. Should developer impact fees be enacted so that new growth pays for the costs associated with building additional county infrastructure?
3. Are you in favor of a property tax increase to pay for the proposed $40 million dollars worth of capital improvement projects?
4. Are you in favor of building a permanent Columbia County Recycling Center to be located at the closed Baker Place Landfill?
5. Are you in favor of Columbia County building a Senior Citizens Center in either the Evans or Greenbrier area?
6. Are you in favor of asking your legislative delegation to sponsor School Impact Fee Legislation to help pay for new school construction?
7. Are you currently satisfied with the quality of development in Columbia County?
8. Should seats on the Planning and Zoning Board be filled by nonpartisan general election?
9. Are you in favor of extending mass transportation from Richmond County into Columbia County on Washington Road?
10. Should public lands at Clarks Hill Lake be opened up for private development?
11. Should two at-large commissioner seats be added to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners?
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