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A handy guide to the 2014 election ballot questions

Income tax caps, spinal cord injuries, and private dorms

Voters will not only choose Georgia's leaders Nov. 4. At the end of ballots they'll also be faced with three referenda — two of which are amendments to the Georgia Constitution. The first would cap Georgia's income tax rate at 6 percent. Georgia's income tax rate hasn't risen above that percentage — and there's no appetite under the Gold Dome to hike it — in decades. Simply put, this GOP-led effort was designed solely to stoke the Republican base and increase turnout on Election Day. If you want to give state lawmakers the middle finger and keep alive one option of Georgia being able to generate much-needed revenue — say, perhaps, in dire circumstances such as a recession — then strike down this measure. If passed, the second amendment would add penalties and fees to people's traffic tickets to help fund care and rehab for Georgians who have suffered neurotrauma with head or spinal cord injuries.

The final question — should university housing remain tax exempt to "keep costs affordable?" — is hilariously misleading and aimed at hoodwinking voters. The referendum approval is needed to give the University System of Georgia the OK to privatize dorms, creating a boondoggle for the companies that snag the multi-decade contracts made available in the pilot program. They get to collect housing fees and don't have to pay property taxes on the buildings they'll manage. And the system gets to protect its bond rating. Win-win, eh? Until we hear more about protecting students from added fees, we suggest striking it down.



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