Constitutional Amendment 1
Creates the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, and parks.
"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?"
What voting “yes” or “no” means:
Voting “yes” means that for every $10.00 you spend at a sporting goods store for the next 10 years, up to $0.32 of the sales tax you pay may go to protect the great outdoors.
Voting “no” means that $0.32 will continue to fund education, health, higher education, public safety, etc.
Supporters say a dedicated source is needed.
Opponents say this amendment does actually not guarantee funding.
This proposal authorizes the General Assembly to provide for an annual allocation of up to 80 percent of the revenue derived from the state sales and use tax collected by sporting goods stores to a trust fund to be used for the protection and preservation of conservation land. Any law adopted pursuant to this proposal shall provide for automatic repeal not more than ten years after its effective date; however, such repeal date may be extended for a maximum of ten additional years.
This Constitutional Amendment would provide legal authority for a previously-enacted statute that dedicates 40% (could be increased at a later date up to 80%) of the sales taxes currently levied on specified sporting goods to be placed in the newly-established Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund. The Trust Fund will be managed by a board comprised of Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials, the director of the State Forestry Commission, the Commissioner of Transportation, and others appointed by the General Assembly. The trust fund is the first to be established in Georgia specifically to preserve and protect land for conservation. The fund will be used to preserve natural areas, provide recreation, and protect natural resources including water supplies. Money in the fund may not revert to the General Fund.
The ability of the General Assembly to budget adequately is protected by reducing the amount allocated to the trust fund if sales tax revenue to the state drops as specified in the legislation.
How did the state legislature vote on this?
Who gets to vote now?
All voters in the state of Georgia get to vote on this question.
Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Coalition
consists of The Conservation Fund, Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride, and The Trust for Public Land