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Georgia Politics

BREAKDOWN: The 5 Constitutional Amendments on the November 2018 Ballot

5 Constitutional Amendments to the State Constitution will appear on the November general election ballot. Are you informed about what those ballot questions mean?

Here’s a brief rundown.

Amendment 1 — Portion of Revenue from Outdoor Recreation Equipment Sales Tax Dedicated to Land Conservation Fund Amendment 

This would give the state the authority to dedicate “up to” 80% of the existing sales and use tax on outdoor sporting goods to be used for land conservation.  This was initially supposed to happen when the sales tax was put into place, but never occurred. The “up to” 80% language means the legislature is still not required to allocate the tax money but can allocated up to that percentage.

The funds would be used to support state parks and trails, provide stewardship of conservation lands, and acquire land for the provision or protection of clean water, wildlife, hunting, fishing, military installation buffering, or outdoor recreation.These initiatives would be carried out by creating the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund, which would be handled by the state. 40% of the 80% allocated would go to this fund.

It will appear on the ballot as follows:

Without increasing the current state sales tax rate, shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to create the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund to conserve lands that protect drinking water sources and the water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; to protect and conserve forests, fish, wildlife habitats, and state and local parks; and to provide opportunities for our children and families to play and enjoy the outdoors, by dedicating, subject to full public disclosure, up to 80 percent of the existing sales tax collected by sporting goods stores to such purposes without increasing the current state sales tax rate?

VOTING YES means you support allowing the state to authorize up to 80% of the sales tax for outdoor goods for conservation.

VOTING NO means you oppose support allowing the state to authorize up to 80% of the sales tax for outdoor goods for conservation.

The Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Coalition is one of the main sponsors of this amendment as is The Georgia Conservancy.

Opponents of the amendment say it doesn’t go far enough or have enough enforcement teeth to require the money actually be used for conservation. It simply allows the state to send the money to the fund if it chooses.

Amendment 2 – Business Court Creation

Amendment 2 would create a new court system in the state of Georgia, specifically for businesses. This will allow judges in the business court to be APPOINTED not ELECTED. All judges would be appointed by the Governor and there would be no limit on how long a judge could serve.

It will appear on the ballot as follows:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to create a state-wide business court, authorize superior court business court divisions, and allow for the appointment process for state-wide business court judges in order to lower costs, improve the efficiency of all courts, and promote predictability of judicial outcomes in certain complex business disputes for the benefit of all citizens of this state?

VOTING YES means you support amending the Constitution to authorize the state to create a state business court and would set the rules, term length and qualifications of the court.

VOTING NO means you oppose amending the Constitution to authorize the state to create a state business court which would appoint judges by way of the Governor,  set the rules, term length and qualifications of the court.

This Amendment was sponsored by the Governor’s floor leaders and others, including Representatives Chuck Efstration, Terry Rogers, Trey Rhodes, Christian Coomer, Wendell Willard, and Barry Fleming. All are Republicans.

Governor Nathan Deal told WABE that, “A constitutional created business court would provide an efficient and dependable forum for litigants in every corner of our state.” This is a measure that was part of his Court Reform Council in his earlier years as governor. The amendment has the support of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and is being pushed by “Georgians for Lawsuit Reform.”

Here’s the link to the bill.

Amendment 3 – Forest Land and Timberland Conservation

This amendment would revise current law by subclassifying forest land conservation use property for ad valorem taxation purposes. It would also change the method for establishing the value of forest land conservation use property and related assistance grants.

Amendment 3 will appear on the ballot as follows:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to revise provisions related to the subclassification for tax purposes of and the prescribed methodology for establishing the value of forest land conservation use property and related assistance grants, to provide that assistance grants related to forest land conservation use property may be increased by general law for a five-year period and that up to 5 percent of assistance grants may be deducted and retained by the state revenue commissioner to provide for certain state administrative costs, and to provide for the subclassification of qualified timberland property for ad valorem taxation purposes?

VOTING YES means you support allowing the legislature to change the formula used to calculate the tax on forest land conservation use property and create a new land designation for commercial timberland. This also allows the state to establish a percentage of local grant assistance funding that could be retained by the state for administration.

VOTING NO means you oppose allowing the legislature to change the formula used to calculate the tax on forest land conservation use property and create a new land designation for commercial timberland. This also allows the state to establish a percentage of local grant assistance funding that could be retained by the state for administration.

The bill is supported by the Georgia Forestry Commission and Governor Deal. Andres Villegas, president and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association was quoted saying, “For more than 100 years, the Georgia Forestry Association has been instrumental in timber tax legislation, which has positioned the state as a global leader in forestry. Thanks to the leadership of our elected officials and Governor Deal, we can, once again, ensure that our tax policy supports the growth and vitality of our working forests and the communities that depend on them.”

You can read the bill here.

Amendment 4 – Marsy’s Law/Victim’s Rights

Amendment 4, known as Marsy’s Law, addresses rights of victims of crime. It is part of a national effort to add additional rights and privileges for victims of crime.

The amendment allows, upon request, crime victims to have specific rights, including the right to be treated with “fairness, dignity, and respect;” the right to notice of all proceedings involving the alleged criminal; the right to be heard at any proceedings involving that release, plea, or sentencing of the accused; and the right to be informed of their rights. The amendment also explicitly stated that the legislature was able to further define, expand, and provide for the enforcement of the rights.

The amendment will appear on the ballot as follows:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide certain rights to victims against whom a crime has allegedly been perpetrated and allow victims to assert such rights?

VOTING YES means you support adding more rights of victims of crimes to the State Constitution, known as Marsy’s Law.

VOTING NO means you oppose adding more rights of victims of crimes to the State Constitution, known as Marsy’s Law.

Marsy’s Law for Georgia is a special advocacy organization created just for this bill and is the main sponsor. The amendment is endorsed by a number of victims’ rights groups.

Joe Mulholland, a District Attorney in South Georgia, told his local paper that the amendment is technically already part of the law. “It’s already technically part of Georgia law, but the legislature felt like being a part of the constitution is even stronger. Having that and knowing its part of the constitution, I think it gives peace of mind to prosecutors.”

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, has voiced concerns about the unintended consequences of the law, even penning a piece on it. You can read that here, but among the concerns are 1) additional attorney costs and costs for support staff for victims, 2) the risk of infringing the rights of someone accused of a crime, 3) an increase in false accusations, and seemingly most severe, the accused could “lose their right to be presumed innocent until convicted.”

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation also said in an article published on their website that “A constitutional amendment is no place to risk infringing the rights of someone accused of a crime. The accused have the presumption of innocence until convicted; their life and liberty are at stake. For many suffering victims and their surviving families, there’s a fine line between justice based on a court of law and vengeance based on the alleged wrongdoing.”

Amendment 5 – School Sales Tax Referendums

Amendment 5 is the School Sales Tax Referendums Amendment. This amendment, if passed, would allow school districts or groups of school districts within a county to call for a sales and use tax referendum. For example: Fulton County and Atlanta City Schools or Cobb County and City of Marietta Schools.

The sales tax would be used for the educational purposes of the school districts and would be 1%. The term could be upwards of 5 years.

It will appear on the ballot as follows:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize a referendum for a sales and use tax for education by a county school district or an independent school district or districts within the county having a majority of the students enrolled within the county and to provide that the proceeds are distributed on a per student basis among all the school systems unless an agreement is reached among such school systems for a different distribution?

VOTING YES means you support the amendment to allow a school district or districts with a majority of enrolled students within a county to call for a referendum to levy a sales tax for education purposes.

VOTING NO means you oppose the amendment to allow a school district or districts with a majority of enrolled students within a county to call for a referendum to levy a sales tax for education purposes.

Ballotpedia quotes Senator Ellis Black, a sponsor of the Amendment, in an interview saying, “the measure was designed to put provisions in place so that a school system with a majority of the full-time equivalent (FTE) students can place a renewal of an ESPLOST on the ballot before voters without having to ask all the systems within a county. Black also said the measure was designed to prevent a smaller school system from essentially blackmailing a larger school system within the county from passing a resolution to place an ESPLOST renewal on the ballot, and similarly, that it would stop a larger school system from preventing smaller systems from putting the issue before voters.”

The bill passed 33-17.

Two referendums that are not constitutional amendments will also appear on the ballot, but we’ll cover those – and what they mean – in another piece.

Early voting begins October 15th and Election Day is November 6th.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for



  1. Pam AVRETT

    September 28, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks so much this was great information can you do this for SC too….

    • Jessica Szilagyi

      September 29, 2018 at 6:35 am

      Sorry, we don’t cover South Carolina at this time. It would be hard to discuss the implications of the amendments in another state when I haven’t followed the issues through the legislature. Maybe one day soon we’ll be in South Carolina, too!

      • Richard James

        October 17, 2018 at 7:38 pm

        Why didn’t you tell everybody they are also voting yes for a loan which automatically kills 6 or 7% of our taxes so they can get a lump sum as soon as possible

      • Bruce Brown

        October 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        Thank you helped tremendously 😉

      • Alexis

        October 26, 2018 at 3:01 pm

        Can you explain the Special Election question on alcohols sales on Sunday? It’s confusing written as is.

      • Susanna Surio

        October 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm

        What are the other 2 referendums you didn’t cover in this? Thanks so much for covering the information to allow me to be more knowledgeable when I vote. By the way, are you of Hungarian descent? I speak Hungarian and am looking to connect with Hungarians in north Georgia.

  2. Julien

    September 29, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you. 4 worries me. It also bothers me that when someone is accused or arrested their name is published or perhaps there is a front page story. Most people seem to assume the accused must be guilty. If they are cleared it may be noted somewhere but damage is still done.
    I’m not sure how this amendment would be upheld in federal court if it infringes the rights of the accused, who are presumed innocent under law, if not in public. It seems to be an amendment born not of thought and reason but of feelings. I dont know…

    • Moriah Morris

      September 30, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      Could not agree more. In a small like mine, having your name in the paper for a crime before you have your day in court can be very costly, like your job. This would be one step closer to being presumed guilty.

      • Lindy

        October 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm

        But how does victims being notified of hearings take away from the accused’s innocent until proven guilty assumption?

        • Sean

          October 14, 2018 at 3:27 am

          They already have all these rights by statute; there’s no reason to add this list to the constitution where making timely alterations or additions is much more difficult.

        • Carol

          October 19, 2018 at 4:32 pm

          Read Lindy. The notice to the victims are already in Georgia law and already done as part of a plea or hearing or for parole right now.

        • Na

          October 26, 2018 at 3:40 pm

          That one specific part doesn’t on the surface, but if they aren’t guilty, and the person is using these things with false allocations, then they could see how well things are going and cause more of this type of thing which we have far too many false allogations that ruin the rest of a person’s life already so you obviously can’t look at even one specific thing unless you think very deeply about it and the rest as a whole because if you vote because one thing sounds good on the surface, you vote in all the evil and wrong ways for all of it to be used ya know?

      • E Dierkes

        November 5, 2018 at 10:16 pm

        Then don’t commit the crime in the first place! My daughter was brutally raped and sodomised for 6 hours at the age of 13 by her best friends step father. He is serving 16 years for it . The problem is, he was arrested but it took 4 years to get a conviction in the meantime he continued working for a company that does work in peoples yards where there were other young girls. Wouldn’t you want to know if someone like that was employed by a company coming to your hone to do work? We also want to know when he gets out so she can avoid him at all cost

    • Maria Zamora

      October 17, 2018 at 2:49 pm

      agreed #4 troubles me too for this same reason

    • Char

      October 18, 2018 at 11:40 am

      The only positive I can find from #4 is increased accountability to state/prosecutor to inform the victim. Sean is absolutely correct that we have these measures in place already in Georgia. I believe we can find a way to hold the state and prosecutors more accountable without having to add new laws. Right now, the Crime Victims Bill of Rights in Georgia covers almost everything in Marsy’s Law. What seems to be the issue, imho, is that if a victim is not informed as the law dictates, there is very little recourse or accountability after the fact.

      • Na

        October 26, 2018 at 3:55 pm

        Yes and that’s still assuming they’re a true victim, but the way things go all I see is this causing more trouble and also we need more rights and stricter laws for male victims which the state of GA and just about any other place does not recognize that women can rape etc… too and even when it’s a minor nothing is really ever done to them because in the state of GA by law, a man cannot be raped. It’s a misdemeanor at best. That and those kind of laws need changing and a lot more work but no human ever does anything at a high enough level and that law is as old as the hills.

    • Rose

      October 19, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      Thank you for your connect Julien. I completely agree. I’m voting No

    • Reagan

      October 22, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      FYI: I read your post and allow me to quickly explain that I was falsely accused in a federal district court of stalking a reporter who KNEW that I was attempting to report a series of arsons and murders in Georgia committed by my ex- girlfriend. The reporter refused a pretrial interview which could have garnered information for cross-examination during the trial phase, and which would have revealed her motive for making the false accusation. That was in a federal court even WITHOUT Marcy’s Law. So, if your concern is over a loss of due process rights, I can assure you it’s a very valid and real concern which is completely counter to our founding concepts of jurisprudence. I’m voting NO.

  3. SKScott

    September 30, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Marcy’s Law would prevent an angry boyfriend from throwing vitriolic acid in your face thus scarring you for life!

    Please examine the taxes for schools. Your vote counts! Thank you for educating yourself prior to casting your vote.

    • LAMACK

      October 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Actually, Marsy’s Law would not prevent any crime. It only provides for victim rights, specifically the right to notice of all proceedings involving the alleged criminal; the right to be heard at any proceedings involving that release, plea, or sentencing of the accused; and the right to be informed of their rights.

      • Karla

        October 17, 2018 at 9:59 am

        Absolutely! Definitely a positive step for victims to have a little more control and say concerning an unwanted situation.

        • Na

          October 26, 2018 at 3:33 pm

          As others have said this is already covered by GA state law and it’s all before the fact and is for *alleged* victims which is not a good thing at all because my worries that came to mind is those listed such as an increase in false allocations etc…The main problem I had to begin with was the word *allegedly* being in there. That’s a major problem because it’s not talking about *convicted* criminals, which sometimes they are innocent even if convicted so we can’t have *allegedly* in things like that because it would help to ensure your life is messed up before we try and even discern what actually happened. And, as with sexual assault accusations, even if they are found innocent they still have to register as a sex offender and live according to how the law dictates that a guilty person should live which effects where they CAN live and everything for the rest of their life even if innocent which is not right and it we already have far too many false allogations and it would not help there either and as I, and others have stated, everything in it is already covered by state law so it would only make things worse. It’s one of those thing’s that looks good on the surface, but you gotta think of what it means for everyone like if you were *accused* of a crime, not convicted and might be absolutely innocent what it could, and probably would, do to you because of how people use things for the wrong reasons like revenge, another worry mentioned, like if someone just ticked off at you about any little thing etc…

    • Sean

      October 14, 2018 at 3:28 am

      Unfortunately this list of rights–whether statutory or constitutional–does not accomplish this. The criminal code as it already stands is what we use to deter such things.

  4. Schlesinger Roberta

    October 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks you so much for the info. Moved from Tucson last year where the Leaague of Women Voters put out an extensive pamphlet on candidates, amendments and other proposals that appeared on the ballot. They provided pro and con arguments and a list of who supports the ballot measure and who opposes. I am still confused about the State Referenda — very confusing wording for A and Special Elections – first measure.

    Is there any other place I can go to get info.

  5. Debbie Harter

    October 3, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Just wanted to let you know that Joe Mulholland is not a judge in South Georgia, he is the District Attorney for the South Georgia Judicial Circuit. Also, thank you for the info on the Amendments. It does help to be able to read and study them ahead of time.

  6. Lindy

    October 9, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Hello. Question on Amedment 5: If the largest district calls for and gets the 1% tax approved by the voters, how is the funding to be allocated? Also, do all voters in that county get to vote on this measure or only citizens from within that specific school district? Thank you.

  7. Douglas D Durr

    October 9, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Amendment 2 – Business Court Creation
    Amendment 2 would create a new court system in the state of Georgia, specifically for businesses. This will allow judges in the business court to be
    (((((((APPOINTED not ELECTED)))))))))))).
    All judges would be
    ((((((((appointed by the Governor)))))))))))))))
    and there would be
    (((((((((((( no limit on how long a judge could serve.))))))))))

    There is a lot to be concerned about here!! Not the (( ))

    • Judith Luke

      October 12, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      I agree with Mr. Durr. I like the idea of business court. Don’t like what Douglas pointed out. Those were also my concerns when reading it. I will be voting no.

    • Donald

      October 15, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      Totally agree with Douglas Durr. Judges shouldn’t be appointments by the Governor.
      Look at the Kavanaugh fiasco, a majority of the American people that took the poll would not have allowed him on the Supreme Court.

      • Drew Allen

        October 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm

        Supreme court judges are appointed by the President though. Hmmm…

        • Jessica Szilagyi

          October 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm

          Drew Allen – Georgia Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the Governor.
          The appointments Donald is referencing, in Amendment 2 in the business courts, all of the judges would be appointed by the Governor and would be unaccountable to the people.

          • Nathan Proctor

            October 17, 2018 at 9:24 am

            The fact that a majority of Americans were willing to presume Kavanaugh’s guilt without the benefit of a court proceeding is exactly why they should be appointed.

          • Craig

            October 31, 2018 at 1:37 pm

            State Supreme Court Justices and Court of Appeals judges are elected offices. The Governor appoints a judge only if a vacancy occurs during a judge’s term. After that, the appointed judge stands for re-election.

      • Karla

        October 17, 2018 at 10:04 am

        Ignorant people. I think a Governor with advice from respected, knowledgeable people from the community would definitely be more qualified to appoint a qualified judge but I do think there should be term limits to prevent any conflicts of interest developing.

        • Darlene

          October 17, 2018 at 12:19 pm

          This business court would simply be a court of politics not LAW. This would allow the Governor to ride roughshod over whoever he/she did not like. This court would be open to an extreme amount of bad action. If this is to be fair the persons to be judges would need to be confirmed by 2/3 of the state house to decrease the potential for corruption. I am a NO vote.

          • Diane Saad

            October 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm

            You are correct!!

        • Ann Knight

          October 21, 2018 at 7:41 pm

          How is this appointed Judge going to be paid! From the county taxes I assume?

          • D-Fresh

            November 6, 2018 at 8:40 am

            Whether a judge is elected or appointed isn’t going to change the way they are paid, correct?

    • Maria Z

      October 17, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Same here. I like the idea of business court that is totally awesome! Allowing the Governor to appoint judges is why I will be voting No as well.

    • Helen

      October 22, 2018 at 11:08 am

      I had the same concerns…

    • Vic Walton

      November 5, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      According to another website discussing this Amendment on the Business Courts: “

    • Vic Walton

      November 5, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      From Ballotpedia: “Amendment 2 would allow the creation of a statewide business court with a statewide jurisdiction for use under certain circumstances. The court’s judges would be pointed by the governor, approved by a majority vote of the Senate and House judiciary committees, and serve a term of five years. Judges could be be reappointed for any number of terms under the measure.” Please notice… Five year terms…

  8. Debbie Fisher

    October 10, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Great Comment on a FB Group page by a practicing Lawyer on Amendment 2

    Alan Faircloth

    It raises several questions for me, in no particular order or priority. Why is it needed (what problem is it supposed to solve/address)? Statements suggest it’s about efficiency, but that can be addressed without a constitutional amendment to create a new court….so tell me the real reason why.

    Why are judges appointed versus elected like superior court? If the governor appoints them, a governor has the ability to significantly influence the disposition and outcomes. And the voters lose a great deal of control and influence.

    Looks like there won’t be any term limits. Again, very different than other judge positions where they are up for election at established time periods. This cuts two ways in that they aren’t subject to as much influence politically as injected by Gov appts and elections, but voters lose the ability to decide if a different person may be better. This is especially important if the judge is the trier of fact also (no jury).

    Highly favored and supported by chamber of commerce. This scares me because that means they see it as a very favorable thing for them. Better outcomes in their favor. Not sure if that includes tax abatements, bond support, etc. So Larry Savage might find it even harder to win a case in this court.

    Funding. Where is the money going to come from to fund these courts, including salaries of judges, court officers and employees? This is the prelude to tax raises. You supported the creation of the courts and that can’t be done without more money. So “ipso facto” you supported the tax increase too.

    I’m very suspicious and highly critical of constitutional amendments. They open a Pandora’s box that will likely never get closed and the fix may be worse than whatever is being fixed.

    • Sean

      October 14, 2018 at 3:44 am

      You put words to many of my own thoughts as I considered these issues. The business court seems to indicate that the decreased time of processing these cases would substantiate a savings by removing them from traditional courts. However, the courts are already backlogged. It may help many people waiting for their day in court, but the traditional courts will be just as busy as they always have been; hence, greater efficiency for all but cost-savings for none. I would like to take a closer look at how exactly these have benefited the citizens themselves in other counties.

      The elected versus appointed issue with judges is a very old one. On the one hand, I do fear that voters care more about the party than the person and do not appreciate the nuance that exists in many issues. The Governor’s Office is a much higher profile election that receives much more coverage than judges of whom we’ve likely never heard. We’re delegating many powers and responsibilities to the governor that we elect as part of our democratic republican process. The term length coupled with the regular gubernatorial elections do provide a certain check on their disposition and tenure. On the other hand, it almost concerns me more that their terms are perpetually subject to political affiliation. In the long term, I would rather have a judge who can be swayed by neither shifting political winds nor quick-tempered but short-lived mob mentalities.

      As far as your skepticism of constitutional amendments, I agree. Marsy’s Law already exists as a statute. Supporting it may play well as a sound bite, but a constitution just isn’t the place for anything other than the most general outline of how our government should function.

    • Scott S.

      October 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Your thoughts parallel mine closely. Especially the suspicion of constitutional amendments. Barring a revelation, I will be voting NO.

  9. Sissy

    October 10, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks so much for providing much needed insight into these amendments!

  10. JD

    October 11, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for the updates. Amendment 5 on Schools with the ability to raise a 1% sales tax is not a good idea.
    1) School systems, in most cases already have the ability to raise property tax rates without questions.
    2) The Fulton County School system already has the most archaic rules of penalizing low to mid income families and seniors on taxation since it appears it bases tax on on Total Income (line 27 of the 1040) and not Adjusted Gross Income (line 37 of 1040).
    3) School Systems will automatically do it since their “wish” lists of projects in long without much oversight
    4) Adding school sales tax along with MARTA and Local Governments taxes will be pushing overall sales taxes to 9 to 10%. This impacts the working poor and mid income families the most.

    • Larry

      October 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      Correct, dead on. They already get 65% of property taxes in my county. SPLOST is a tax people, and they use it will, not just for what they put on the list of reasons for it.

  11. Tyler

    October 11, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Amendments 1, 3, and 5 come off fairly straight forward in my opinion. However, amendment 2 seems a bit odd, in that it comes off lacking in purpose for existence and potentially like the politicians are merely looking to please business interest groups in the state. Finally, amendment 4 also appears like it was written out of an emotional rationalization instead of a pragmatic need, as basically everything it puts forth already exists in GA legislation and some of the other components of it look like they might do more harm than good to the justice system in the long run.

    • Sean

      October 14, 2018 at 3:52 am

      Amendment 1 isn’t so straightforward to me. It is not a tax increase, but it is a tax revenue reallocation. From what or whom are we taking the money to make deposits into this new fund?

    • JDG

      October 16, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Amendment 3 is effectively a a tax break for large, mostly out-of-state property owners at the expense of local property owners. In some counties it would decrease tax revenues on forest land by 25%. This is not fair to the local owners. Vote No.

      • CZ

        October 17, 2018 at 9:06 am

        JDG, I can’t find much in support of voting No on Amendment 3, which makes sense considering the wide support for it, but got anything else to back up your claim of unfairness for local owners?

  12. Richard West

    October 13, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Good, clear explanations. Thank you.

    P.S. You should run for something … I would vote for you!

  13. Sara

    October 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I am always leery of constitutional amendments. Most should be accomplished by legislation. If they are a good idea, why haven’t they been done that way? I find there are usually some important unintended consequences that keep them from passing the legislative route. A legislator told me anything to do with taxes has to go the amendment but that doesn’t seem right. I need help with that issue.

  14. Donald

    October 15, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Judges shouldn’t be appointed by the Governor, depending upon the party Republican or Democrat, the courts would be stacked in favor of the party in charge.
    The recent Kavanaugh fiasco should be enough to open the eyes of the voters.
    If it was voted on by the American citizens, he wouldn’t have been the next Supreme Court Justice. More we’re against it than for it with a large number of undecided.

    • Jerry Kaufman

      October 30, 2018 at 11:29 am

      The only “Kavanaugh fiasco” I am aware of is a highly qualified jurist being accused of an assault by someone who could not substantiate the accusation.

  15. James

    October 16, 2018 at 12:05 am

    I would support a 1% sales tax (maybe even more) IF property owners would get a 10% decrease in property school taxes for each 1% in sales tax for schools.People who have children in school but don’t own property should be helping support the schools that their children attend and not JUST property owners.

    • Larry

      October 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm


    • Anne Edwards Hamrick

      October 17, 2018 at 6:52 am

      This has long been needed to look at. Property owners should not have this year after year. It’s everyones school. Land that stays in a family generation after generation should at some point have some relief! After 3 and 4 generations, put that cow out to pasture!!!! Sales Tax is my choice. That is fair!

  16. Ricky

    October 16, 2018 at 1:52 am

    In the town I live in they already put name in paper. As soon as your arrested the following week name goes in paper. Trial could be 6 to 12 mths away. Lol they say it’s mandatory, but as in most place according to who you are or who your parents are determines if your name is printed. Fact.

  17. Jeff Gibbs

    October 16, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Amendment 3 would give property tax breaks to a special interest group and increase the tax burden on local property tax owners. It takes away local control of property taxes and creates an unfair advantage to large, mostly out of state land owners. Please vote No.

  18. Claire Hodges

    October 16, 2018 at 10:43 am

    I am voting “No” on all 5. Constitutional amendments should only be for the MOST important issues.
    Example: A “good” Governor could appoint good people, but a “bad” governor could put bad people in with no time limit. Think about the issues and vote with your intellect, not your emotions.

  19. Jeff

    October 16, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    One concern I have is #5. If it’s not already, educational purposes needs to be specifically defined and the scope specifically stated.

  20. C. Knight

    October 16, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    All of these appear, on the surface, to be great ideas. I love the idea of allocating tax money already being paid on sports equipment, etc, going toward conservation. The wording leaves a lot to be desired. The state apply CAN UP TO 80%. The amendment doesn’t say 80% WILL BE allocated. If left worded that way, the state can choose not to allocate ANY of the tax money to conservation.
    The wording in all 5 of the amendments should be a lot less ambiguous.

    • Nancy Bryson

      October 30, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Amendment 1 *sounds* good. But, as I understand it, passage of the amendment will put into place a committee or board of some sort which controls the disbursal of funds of the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund which would be established. So, various parties seeking funding will write proposals which can be approved or rejected by this “Board”. To me, this just sounds like still more opportunity for graft and corruption and favoritism. The Board members will control the purse-strings of the fund and can divvy it up as they see fit; i.e., to their friends and/or their pet projects. So, as much as I love the outdoors, I’ll be voting NO on Amendment 1, which just creates another layer of governmental bureaucracy. If you really want to protect Georgia natural resources, do everything you can to oppose immigration. The vast hordes of immigrants and the increase in population this entails are clearly putting burdensome demands on Georgia resources.

  21. Nancyplane

    October 16, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Ok, this is good information. Thanks.

  22. Kathleen

    October 16, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I will be voting NO on all.

  23. Sam Van Eeden

    October 17, 2018 at 11:24 am

    We need a pro,s and cons on every ballad. In Montana we received something like that . Makes it easier to understand in simpler language.

  24. Iris

    October 17, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Is it possible for you to breakdown the proposed statewide provision for homestead exemption for residents of certain municipal corporation.
    What does this mean???

  25. Jodi

    October 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    This is a good start, but I still find the issues too vaguely worded to make an incormed decision. I wish someone could bring this to a working class level of understanding.
    At this moment I am inclined to vote No on all 5 of these issues, becauze I cant see any clear cut change being made by them. I am familiar with Marsy’s law and seems to be working well as is. So why go changing it?

  26. eric stevens

    October 18, 2018 at 9:54 am

    I think voting yes on #1 is a no brainer, unless you guys want to end up with water like in Flint, MI.

  27. Matt Gilbert

    October 19, 2018 at 8:14 am

    For ammendment 5, you say the bill passed along party lines, but on Ballotpedia it looks like all the votes leading to this getting on the ballot were pretty mixed. What am i missing here?,_School_Sales_Tax_Referendums_Amendment_(2018)

  28. connie richardson

    October 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

    For most people the wording of amendments before and after being written for people who don’t understand the legal way of writing, it is a pain to understand. We all get questions in surveys about our doctor visits that ask if the doctor spoke in a way that we understood what he was talking about. We the voters need a language that we can understand.

  29. Travis S. PLESS

    October 22, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    From Travis S. PLESS.. Born in GA.,Voter, Vet (US NAVY), Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather… Why the Introduction..?? So this submission is taken Seriously..
    ALL Amendments RATE: “”NO””.
    Furthermore the “LOTTERY” was presented as “School Support” and”College Education for every Georgian.”.! Who is keeping the FOX out of the Hen House..?? The Lottery Advertisement Budget is Greater than the Transportation (DOT)… The SALARY of the (Appointed) Dept Head is more than the Judges in the GA., Supreme Court… The Perks are way out of Control…. Remember..!! This is a Governor Appointed Position…. NO ONE Investigates this Money Wild Group…”It is the Governors Standing Public Appearance and OFF the RECORD slush FUND.
    What benefits do our Children, Grandchildren and Future Generations of School bound Children Receive..??? What happened to the “GEORGIA SUNSHINE LAW.???”
    Why can a State PCA not run and be Accountable for the Same JOB..???
    Upon Retiring from Military Service… I applied for Educational benefits and Counseling as to the Cost of 2 year, 4 year and Vocational Schools, here in GA. as I had not been in Georgia for many Years..! Not ONLY did I receive a “You are not Qualified in the State of GA.” ,for (“Counseling nor Assistance..!!”). ” Your GI bill expired on 31 Dec, 1989…. by an act of President REGAIN… to Balance the Budget..!!!”. I found out Years Later.. the Georgia Legislature enact a $200.00 special pay for Georgians that had served. NO One knew anything about “IT”, until someone (A retired OFFICER) sent the Decatur Draft Board a copy of the Check from the Treasury of the State of GA. (For Service….).. All of a sudden, It was Fact..!!….. but I did not Qualify, as I did Not Live in GA. at the time the Legislation was Passed..!!
    It is the “GOOD OL’ BOY System” at WORK…!! I just walked away. Dekalb Co. and Coweta Co. all over again . Sick but Laughable.
    NOW.!.!. Re-Read the 5 Amendments again. Politicians and LAWYERS are reaching into Your Pockets… AGAIN.!
    Like the ‘LOTTERY’ and the ‘Per Drink Laws’ benefit the working CLASS… The LOTTERY cost the Citizens of GA. in Welfare, CRIME, Hospital Bills, Broken Families, first Responders, Hospitals and our Law Enforcement Officers… BUT … NO ONE will cover that STORY nor Expose the Two Faced Politicians and LAWYERS..!!!
    It “ALL” starts with these “”AMENDMENTS”” The LaW already STATES what is required of the LAWYERS… Most of them get MORE MONEY $$$ by doing Nothing… Thanks for Reading…. There may be a Chuckle or two in here somewhere. ! Travis S. PLESS.. Born in GA., Citizen of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA… GOD Bless AMERICA.!!! 🇺🇸. (YOAM)⚓️.

  30. cath lindenau

    October 23, 2018 at 8:28 am

    clean water – we love our parks and trails – vote yes to amendment 1 – read more on the Audubon site

  31. Greg Ravenwood

    October 26, 2018 at 9:51 am

    The funding collected through this sales tax could not be spent on anything but the intended environmental goals. I think I will be voting yes on Amendment 1 and no on the other four.

  32. Angie

    October 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Voting NO on all amendments except Amendment 1.

  33. Nancy Bryson

    October 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Voting NO even on Amendment 1, despite my love of the outdoors. Amendment 1 will put into place a “Board” which will accept grant proposals and determine which are to be funded by the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund. In other words, yet another layer of government bureaucracy in which “friends” and “pet projects” will be rewarded with funded proposals.

    If you want to protect Georgia natural resources, oppose immigration into our state. The burgeoning population caused by uncontrolled immigration is putting unsustainable demands on our resources.

  34. VS

    November 1, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Voting Yes on 1 and 5. No on 2 3 4.
    Note 5 only allows a school district to call for a referendum to levy a sales tax for education purposes; not an automatic increase in sales tax.

  35. Tab

    November 6, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you for your time and grand,simple, clear explanation from a neutral position. Real news!

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