By Jen Bennecke, Community Foundation donor
My husband Paul and I have a fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta because we want to demonstrate to our children that philanthropy is one important aspect of being a contributing citizen in our community. Voting is another way we can all have an impact on the future.
Georgia’s natural resources are finite. By dedicating funding to conservation, our leaders will be better positioned to implement the state’s conservation plans. This will ensure that kids have outdoor spaces to play as well as keep our drinking water clean by protecting the lands that work as a natural filtration system.
Amendment 1 will constitutionally dedicate a portion of the existing sales tax on sporting goods (approximately $20 million a year) to conservation. It will not raise our taxes, create new fees or take away from other critical priorities such as health care or education.
The funding can only be used for three specific purposes: to protect lands critical to drinking water and the quality of Georgia’s lakes, rivers and streams; to support community efforts to build and maintain parks and trails; and to maintain and create new places to hunt and fish. Amendment 1 also includes strict accountability provisions including public disclosure of how the funds are spent.
Many of Georgia’s leading nonprofit conservation organizations strongly support this measure, as does Governor Nathan Deal and many other elected, business and community leaders throughout the state. For more information, visit www.georgiaoutdoorstewardship.org.
Views expressed belong to the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.