Government leaders have 10 years to deliver transportation sales tax projects

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With a massive investment in the Augusta area’s transportation projects approved by voters Tuesday, eyes now turn to government leaders who use taxpayer money to see them to completion.

In the 13-county region including Richmond and Columbia counties, a 1 percent sales tax to fund a list of transportation projects was approved by 54 percent of voters.

Counties that passed the measure were Burke, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, McDuffie, Richmond, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington and Wilkes. It was rejected in Columbia, Glascock and Lincoln counties.

Augusta Commission member Joe Jackson, who served on the roundtable of county leaders that compiled the project list, said local leaders have a big opportunity to build trust with taxpayers.

“It has put the local government on notice,” he said. “If they ever want to see the tax extended, they’re going to get it done in the time allotted.”

Law requires that every project on the approved list be completed in the 10-year collection period.

After collection is under way and projects are started, taxpayers will begin seeing economic benefits such as job creation that were touted by supporters of the tax, Jackson said.

Don Grantham, the Georgia Department of Transportation’s District 10 representative, said changes won’t occur overnight. Tax collection begins in January, and small projects could start by the end of the first quarter.

Because a citizen advisory panel will be created to oversee projects and funding, Grantham said citizens should have more trust that the money will be spent wisely.

“It is a mandate, so it gives the people more of a comfort zone that this will happen,” he said.

The Augusta region was one of three in the state to OK the tax. The other two are centered on Albany and Vidalia. Sixty-two percent of metro Atlanta voters opposed it, and 58 percent in Savannah.

Revenue totaling $841 million is expected to fund 83 projects across Augusta’s region.

View a list of the Augusta-area projects funded by the tax at http://chronicle.augusta.com/data/tsplost_projects2.

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augusta citizen
9137
Points
augusta citizen 08/01/12 - 09:52 pm
4
1
NO

How did this happen??? You can't fix stupid, I guess!
I shopped at a N. Aug. grocery store today, I know it's not in effect yet, just going ahead and getting used to doing the shopping there. Costco, we hardly knew ye...

dichotomy
32155
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dichotomy 08/01/12 - 10:17 pm
3
1
How indeed....let me guess.

I am trying to understand how this thing got passed in Richmond County. If the analysis I just read is correct, the majority black districts voted for this thing and the majority white disctricts narrowly voted against this. Now I am curious to know why the black citizens of this county would vote to tax themselves at a higher rate....especially when RC is a DONOR county in this mess so we just voted to give our neighboring counties $63 million dollars of RC taxpayer's money. And I really feel sorry for Columbia County residents who had the good sense to vote against this thing but will now be forcibly taxed. And Columbia County is a DONOR county also, so $23 million of their tax dollars will also go to surrounding counties.

But my real question is, why would the black citizens of this county be so anxious to pay MORE taxes and send our tax money to surrounding counties? Is this an indication of their attitude on more taxation or is this an indication that they did not understand the issue? And why weren't RC citizens smart enough to see through this money grabbing TAX grab like 3/4s of the rest of the state were able do? Did the majority black districts in Augusta realize that we are a DONOR county?

Now, my comments are based on an analysis I just read on another blog so if this information is not correct, I apologize in advance. But IF it is correct about the black districts being the districts that are the primary reason for this atrosity passing in Richmond County I am just curious as to the reason they would vote for this thing knowing that we are a DONOR county sending our "penny" to our surrounding counties. And what is it that they did not see that 3/4s of the rest of the state did see and rejected soundly......and WHY didn't they see it. Were they misled by their leadership? Or did each one of them individually decide that they wanted to pay more taxes and send a big chunk of their money to other counties? Do they now realize that WE will be taking $millions of dollars out of OUR economy, some of which will go to other counties, while 3/4s of the state will be keeping their money in their pockets and in their economy and SPENDING OUR GASOLINE TAX DOLLARS ON THEIR ROADS.

WAY TO GO RICHMOND COUNTY. If there is a stupid way to go you will certainly find it. And to Columbia County, I hope you can find some good lawyers that will blow this whole TSPLOST thing, and all of the UNELECTED REGIONAL COMMISSIONERS, out of the water.....or at least get you off of the hook from having to pay this tax.

dichotomy
32155
Points
dichotomy 08/01/12 - 10:31 pm
4
1
augusta citizen.....I'm with

augusta citizen.....I'm with you. I'm glad I can jump on the BJ and shop in North Augusta just as fast as I can get over toward the Mall and Washington Rd. I already go to NA for some shopping and restaurants so when this thing kicks in I will be bringing back bigger loads on my runs across the border.

I bought my last pickup truck today so that's $358.00 dollars they won't get from me for TSPLOST. Still paid $2505.00 in SALES TAX(s), which is ridiculous, but if I had waited 'til January the SALES TAX(s) would be $2863.00. Boy them "just a penny"(s) add up quick don't they?

Way to go Richmond County majority. You sure showed your ignorance yesterday and proved that 3/4ths of the state are smarter than you. The rest of the state has been laughing at you since 1995 but today they are ROTFLTAO at you.

seenitB4
85809
Points
seenitB4 08/02/12 - 03:32 am
0
0
Surprise surprise

I thought Atlanta would pass the thing & yall would get a pass....nahhh...something else will come down the pike soon...I betcha.

Riverman1
82447
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Riverman1 08/02/12 - 04:59 am
1
1
Augusta, Albany and Vidalia.

Augusta, Albany and Vidalia. They kind of go together.

Riverman1
82447
Points
Riverman1 08/02/12 - 05:01 am
2
1
Dichotomy, to answer your

Dichotomy, to answer your question. TSPLOST, Vote YES, was on the "ticket" in Richmond County, that's why.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 08/02/12 - 10:00 am
2
0
This makes me wretch. So

This makes me wretch. So disappointed in people lately, on a couple of different levels. So now, where are all those comments from the people who were selling it, you know, more jobs, road projects? (chirp chirp)

Yep, I get the feeling they were talking about THEIR JOB or THEIR ROAD PROJECT.

rebellious
20630
Points
rebellious 08/02/12 - 10:10 am
3
0
Amazing

The fun now becomes figuring out which cup the ball is under. As many Special Purpose Taxes go, it will be spent where the money is( translation...Broad Street and Wirghtsboro road). Windsor Spring widening shows up first on the list in the Chronicle article, but watch and learn. It will be last. Oh there will be reasons, the right of way acquisition wasn't complete, the railroad didn't have money budgeted for the overpass, rain, etc.... Paving the way into Hephzibah and allowing rural dwellers quick and easy access to downtown take a back seat. And even so, if they want to live in the peace of country, there are new developments between Windmill Plantation and Pollards Corner going up as fast as Bahia grass grows. Next, the hew and cry,"Why is Augusta's tax base shrinking", or "Why can't Augusta be cool".
The difference between cynicism and reality grows slimmer and slimmer.

rebellious
20630
Points
rebellious 08/02/12 - 10:18 am
2
0
dichotomy

As a parasite sucks blood from the host until the host dies,a lack of understanding of the system is to blame. As we,as a city and country, buy into the entitlement mentality, a tax is assumed to be levied on the "rich"and given to the "poor". The reality of the mechanism of a sales tax is lost on the uneducated. It is a tax and therefore will benefit us on the dole, think the entitled. That is why the time is right for the "FairTax"from a constituent standpoint. Now to elect Senators and Representatives who can give up the power of taxation will be necessary to see it ever move forward. My earlier sentiments on the electorate's desire and ability to understand this makes that unlikely.

cheapster505
566
Points
cheapster505 08/02/12 - 11:50 am
2
0
the list

ok now the "TAX" is passed get ready for e projects posponed or cancelled get a second life after the 10 years with a NEW list
1 all the promised projects get pared back
2 the report is the tax revenue is not there
3 so some projects will be posponed or cancelled
4 new and old projects brought back to life with just a 1 cent increase
5 list begins again

cheapster505
566
Points
cheapster505 08/02/12 - 12:13 pm
1
0
another Truism

every tax no matter how well intented will bring in less revenue than projected and will need to be increased

Little Lamb
45383
Points
Little Lamb 08/02/12 - 01:56 pm
1
0
Money

TSPLOST is like Obamacare. The taxes are collected first and the projects come down the road. Meanwhile, the Regional Board of Governors along with the Citizen Advisory Panel will have frittered away salaries, expense reimbursements, meeting room rentals, consultant studies, commissioned surveys, etc.

I wonder which banks will get to hold the tax money while enough money accumulates to begin a project?

Little Lamb
45383
Points
Little Lamb 08/02/12 - 02:06 pm
1
0
A Region of Suckers

From the story:

Because a citizen advisory panel will be created to oversee projects and funding, Grantham said citizens should have more trust that the money will be spent wisely. “It is a mandate, so it gives the people more of a comfort zone that this will happen,” he said.

They ought to put Little Lamb, Riverman, Harley, Willow Bailey, Cobalt George, Roadkill, and Dichotomy on that panel.

KSL and SeenitB4 would be good, too, but they don't live in our sucker region.

Riverman1
82447
Points
Riverman1 08/02/12 - 02:41 pm
2
0
LL, that citizen's advisory

LL, that citizen's advisory panel is going to be about as honest as the Chinese Badminton team.

Little Lamb
45383
Points
Little Lamb 08/02/12 - 02:48 pm
1
0
Which One?

You mean the one with you and me on it, or the one that actually gets appointed?

dichotomy
32155
Points
dichotomy 08/02/12 - 06:20 pm
1
0
Hey Little Lamb.......if the

Hey Little Lamb.......if the TSPLOST projects don't start until the money is collected......and if the estimated costs of those projects suffer the same 30% inflation every 8 months like Fred's Marble Palace renovation has......then none of them will every get completed. All the money will go to pay inflation.

And rebellious......I think you are correct about the entitlement mentality voters. I still don't think they understand that they bit themselves in the butt with this vote. Easily led, easily fleeced.

Riverman1
82447
Points
Riverman1 08/02/12 - 08:05 pm
1
0
LL, Of Course The One THEY Come Up With

Of course any committees with us on them would be historically earth shattering as we tried to figure out ways to give money back to the taxpayers.

If there is any appreciable amount of public money being brandied about I guarantee you Don Grantham will be there prodding us to give it to him. He has been there for one public trough feeding after another.

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