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Week Ahead: TSPLOST funds spark debate

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 7:27 PM
Last updated Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 12:33 AM
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ATLANTA -- The Georgia General Assembly returns to action this week with a looming debate over last year’s statewide TSPLOST voting.

The Roads & Bridges Subcommittee of the Senate Transportation Committee considers SB 73 that would remove the penalty for local governments in regions that did not pass last summer’s transportation sales tax.

“Taxing any one part of Georgia simply because they did not pass a tax increase is un-American”, said Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, sponsor of SB 73.

Legislators from Augusta and the other two regions that did pass the tax are expected to oppose the bill because voters in their districts actually agreed to pay more tax for such improvements.

Transportation will also be the issue when members of the House and Senate meet from congressional districts 9, 10 and 14 to elect members to the State Transportation Board that oversees the Department of Transportation. District 10, which stretches toward Athens includes about 11,000 voters in Columbia County.

Elsewhere, the House takes up a pair of education bills with the full House voting on House Bill 115 that requires local boards of education to notify the state within three days of being warned their accreditation is at risk. HB116 requires the Department of Education to transfer any gifts it receives to a separate foundation.

House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal predicted some debate over the bills.

“Those kinds of things are always kind of emotional from all sides of that, whether the parents or the public education workers,” said O’Neal, R-Bonaire.

Most of the action, though during the week takes place in committees. The House appropriations subcommittees are still hearing from agency heads about next year’s budget, and the Judiciary Committee begins consideration of the juvenile-justice reform package Thursday.

A subcommittee of a different House Judiciary committee holds a hearing Tuesday morning on racial profiling by police. But it won’t vote on the bill.

The Rules Committee is expected to vote on a revised ethics bill.

“Hopefully, we’ll give a renaissance to public trust in the government with that,” O’Neal said.

Across the hall on the Senate floor Monday is a vote on Senate Bill 66 by Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, that boosts penalties for contempt of court.

The appropriations subcommittees are winding up work on the mid-year budget adjustment that the House passed Friday.

In a lighter moment, lawmakers will have lunch with the Farm Bureau on Tuesday. They’ll recess Thursday afternoon and Friday so they can get home to celebrate Valentine’s Day with loved ones.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 02/10/13 - 10:12 pm

From the story:

“Taxing any one part of Georgia simply because they did not pass a tax increase is un-American”, said Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell.

Excu-u-u-se me, Sen. Albers, but the tax referendum proposal that was placed before the voters was a package deal: pass the sales tax increase and get a smaller matching fund for DOT projects; or reject the sales tax increase and get a larger matching fund for DOT projects. If you change the DOT percentage after the referendum, you have cheated the system. Your proposal, Sen. Albers, is as un-American as you can get!

wayne2410 02/11/13 - 08:26 am
We tried to tell people but

We tried to tell people but they voted for it anyway. Live with it, you abused yourself. Congrats?

GnipGnop 02/11/13 - 09:40 am
This should be challenged in court...

but I don't expect it to be. Typical back room taxing without representation tactics. I am sure if our founding fathers could see what we have become they would be ashamed! I also urge everyone living on the state line to show your outrage by spending your money in SC. Tell your reps that as long as this farce is allowed you will make sure your tax dollars go to the SC side of the line. The only way to hit a politician is in his pocket...

SFCRET85 02/11/13 - 10:24 am
Gee GnipGnop. Why leave

Gee GnipGnop. Why leave Tennesee, Alabama and Florida out of your proposal?

resident 02/11/13 - 11:20 am

See I agree with the argument that they should not have to pay more for repairs that are already paid for with the GASOLINE TAX those crooks use for whatever ATLANTA project they want to waste it on. I voted no for this stupid TSPLOST for that very reason. It gives the crooked politicians the opportunity to take money that should have already been allocated to our local roads and give it to someone else thus taxing us twice...once at the pump and another at every cash register. The money that we should be getting from the state from the gasoline tax should not change just because of this stupid TSPLOST waste of money. The projects they are predicting spending it on should have been paid for already if they were so important but our lovely politicians that are not representing Augusta have allowed dollars be spent on Atlanta metro highways that just keep getting redone over and over widened over and over but no real growth to the state has resulted from this and yet local roads contine to be in sad shape due to poor maintenace. Same goes for local roads..The counties say they wait for state money before repaving takes place. What happened to tag fees for road usage or the ad valorem taxes. What I see here is a another way to pay off crooked construction companies with other peoples money. Politicians got their kickback money in some form from this. Why is the roads cost so much? Could it be because the construction companies see an opportunity to overcharge and then go over budget and ask for more oney? Could it be they do not really care and they see a free money chain to choose from.

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