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Transportation sales tax referendum meeting held in Martinez

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:10 PM
Last updated 7:02 PM
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Though bad weather kept Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal from attending a Martinez breakfast Tuesday to discuss the 1 percent sales tax referendum for transportation, an advocate for the tax spoke in his place.

Doug Callaway, the executive director of Georgia Transportation Alliance, speaks about the sales tax referendum for transportation during a breakfast meetng at Westlake Country Club. Gov. Nathan Deal, who was scheduled to speak, was unable to fly to Augusta becuase of the weather.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Doug Callaway, the executive director of Georgia Transportation Alliance, speaks about the sales tax referendum for transportation during a breakfast meetng at Westlake Country Club. Gov. Nathan Deal, who was scheduled to speak, was unable to fly to Augusta becuase of the weather.

Deal was scheduled to talk at West Lake Country Club during a breakfast sponsored by the Georgia Transportation Alliance, which is an entity of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce established to promote the sales tax.

Because of cloudy weather, the helicopter set to bring Deal to the Augusta area was grounded.

Georgia Transportation Alliance Executive Director Doug Callaway took the floor in Deal’s absence and told the group of about 45 people that the upcoming sales tax referendum, or TSPLOST, is the best “economic development opportunity” Georgia has had in 35 years.

Callaway also said the region would be “economically disadvantaged” if the referendum weren’t approved by voters July 31. Residents in each of 12 Georgia regions can approve or deny the tax referendum in their districts.

The Augusta area is made up of 13 counties, including Columbia and Richmond.

“Most people think transportation is a snoozer until we don’t have it,” Callaway said.

Though Callaway acknowledged asking people to raise taxes during a recession is a tough pitch, he said the TSPLOST would generate jobs, create safer roads and promote local control from elected officials.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to do the right thing,” he said.

Georgia Department of Transportation board member Don Grantham said he believed the referendum would be looked at as a model for other states to follow.

In 10 years, officials expect that $840 million will be collected in the area.

If approved, 75 percent of those funds would go to regional projects. The additional revenues would be reserved for local projects, Callaway said.

“This is more like a business transaction,” he said. “We know what we’re buying. This is a good deal.”

If passed, the referendum would provide $621 million during 10 years for the entire region. If the sales tax did not raise enough money, the Georgia Department of Transportation would be required to finish uncompleted projects.

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Tots
25738
Points
Tots 06/12/12 - 12:55 pm
3
0
T-Splost-

Just say NO!!!

Little Lamb
43813
Points
Little Lamb 06/12/12 - 12:57 pm
3
0
Curious Claim

Jenna Martin reported:

If passed, the referendum would provide $621 million during 10 years for the entire region. If the sales tax did not raise enough funding, the Georgia Department of Transportation would be required to finish uncompleted projects.

So how does the Ga. DOT come up with the cash to finish the uncompleted projects? Can they print money like the Federal Reserve does? No, the money comes from taxpayers, and it matters not whether it's from a sales tax, an income tax, or a gasoline tax — we pay.

It's our duty to keep the overall tax burden as low as possible. Vote NO! on the tax referendum on July 31.

Little Lamb
43813
Points
Little Lamb 06/12/12 - 12:59 pm
3
0
Helicopter Ride

Well, the cloudy weather smiled on Georgia taxpayers this morning. We were spared the expense of the governor's helicopter ride, and maybe we got some actual state work out of him if he bothered to go to the office today.

I think it is wrong, wrong, wrong to spend taxpayer money to have state officials advocate for votes on tax referenda. State officials and other state employees should remain officially neutral.

resident
470
Points
resident 06/12/12 - 02:15 pm
2
0
Resident

Well there you have it a meeting in an exclusive community that the general public was not invited to. Way to represent the people. T-SPLOT is basically Tax money lost on pet projects for the people like the National. What is wrong with the road now????? Nothing except the people with money want to change it as long as it is not their money!!!! They widened/changed Alexander drive and well did you happen to notice the sign NO GOLF TRAFFIC. So reasoning for this was to ease Washington Road traffic but then you basically don't let the traffic use it. LEts widen/fancy up roads with little to no need like the one in Apling. Stop using my pocket to fatten your wallet politicians! The business will come if the really want to be here not because of a road!

Robert martin
55
Points
Robert martin 06/12/12 - 05:43 pm
0
1
TAX. REFERENDUM$$$%

It's ourduty to VOTE NO!!!!
TO the tax referendum
On july 31. NO NO NO NO NO NO, ¡¡!!!!!!"!!!!,,!,,,,,,,,

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