What is the transportation special-purpose local option sales tax (TSPLOST)?
According to supporters, the new 1 percent sales tax will fund new transportation projects and solve all transportation-related problems. They also sell it as a job creator that will result in an economic boom in our area.
To opponents, it is a big-government solution that throws more money at problems without addressing the underlying cause.
The Georgia Department of Transportation received its audit report that cites financial mismanagement four years in a row. What did legislators do to address these problems? Not a thing. The GDOT continues its business as usual, and our legislators created the largest tax increase in Georgia’s history.
Fortunately, we have an opportunity to vote it down July 31.
How much tax is enough tax? For every gallon of gas we purchase, we pay 49 cents toward transportation (12.1 cents state fuel tax, 12 cents state sales tax, nine cents local sales tax and 16 cents federal fuel tax). Columbia County citizens approved $54 million in additional county road projects through a 1-cent SPLOST collection from 2011 to 2016. Now we are asked to increase taxes another cent for a regional TSPLOST.
It’s disturbing that the same people who are promoting TSPLOST are the same people who are vehemently against the Obama stimulus program. Both of them were/are sold as economic stimulus programs. They even use the same language. The only difference between President Obama’s stimulus and TSPLOST is that one is a federal program pushed by a Democratic president and Democrat-majority legislators, and the other one is pushed by a Republican governor and Republican legislators.
We need to demand more frugality from our elected officials. We must stop waste and fraud in road construction and reform the GDOT by making sure they work with local government rather than responding to lobbyists.
Send a clear message and vote “no” to TSPLOST July 31.