TSPLOST deserves chance

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I read, with a great deal of concern, Paul Mallon’s comments in the paper May 18 regarding the upcoming vote on the July 31 transportation special-purpose local option sales tax proposal (“TSPLOST isn’t temporary”). The online comments following his letter from the readers at large were even more disturbing because it was clear that these voters were reacting emotionally without reason or understanding the facts.

• The Georgia Department of Transportation, with a consortium of business people across the state, developed the TSPLOST. Both Republicans and Democrats worked to pass it, and it is politically agenda-neutral.

• While true that the DOT still collects the gas tax on every gallon, that money services debt on existing roads. With fewer miles being driven, and vehicle fuel economy improving, there is not sufficient money to build new roads and repair existing roads.

• The TSPLOST expires in 10 years, unless extended by vote of the citizens in the respective districts.

• Each region will vote on the plan. If every other region approves it except for ours, then they will move forward, and we will fall further behind. The opposite also would be true. Each region determines its own fate. The money raised from the tax stays in the region that raised it. By law, our sales tax revenues will build our projects, not those in Atlanta or anywhere else.

• The more populous counties get more of the region’s revenues, but they raise a higher percentage of the total. The project list is weighted accordingly, but all benefit.

• The tax is not “just a penny.” It is 1 percent. It is a tax increase, but one fairly based on consumption.

• The DOT has declared that if this law doesn’t pass, there is no “Plan B.” That means that the roads we have now will deteriorate and congestion will increase, resulting in deaths and injuries. By defeating the proposal ,we also cheat ourselves out of the economic impact the construction jobs would generate.

• The next plan may not afford the local control that this one does. It is clear though that the governor, the legislature and the DOT do not have the will for imposing more taxes themselves. So if TSPLOST fails, not much will change in the near future.

No one likes paying taxes. But we will pay, one way or the other. In the TSPLOST, we have an opportunity to do something by ourselves, for ourselves.

This plan has been well-considered, and it puts the decision squarely in the hands of the individual voter. We are, for once, in control of our own destinies.

I can see why Mr. Mallon and those who agree with him are distrustful of a plan like this. The term “SPLOST” has been worn out by governments trying to fund normal operations on the backs of tired taxpayers, while telling them “it’s just a penny.” I get it.

But unfortunate as the name is, this truly is an opportunity for all citizens in this area. The projected local revenues from this tax are $841 million. If passed, the projects will begin next year.

The interested voter can find more information and view the projects list at www.connectgeorgia2012.com.

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Insider Information
Insider Information 06/05/12 - 10:36 pm

TSPLOST deserves chance......ummmm NO.

Retired Army
Retired Army 06/06/12 - 01:19 am
Well the anti-tax folks of

Well the anti-tax folks of years past used to holler out "Get a horse". Didn't seem to work out though.

Bet we would have had lots of pretty rose gardens if it had.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 06/06/12 - 02:54 am

"Man up." Raise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel to fund roads.

Insider Information
Insider Information 06/06/12 - 07:26 am
Pop Quiz

Name any SPLOST, ESPLOST, TSPLOST or any tax in any form for that matter that has ever been temporary.

Look at the Richmond County school sales tax for instance. That SPLOST was "temporary," yet it has been in place so long that we have built nearly a dozen multi-million football stadiums (now that is going to make my kid smarter) and funneled a whole bunch of money to local attorneys for bond sales.

Bonus points...
if you can name the attorneys who will hit the lottery if this tax passes.

eb97 06/06/12 - 09:33 am

It's a NO from my entire family on this tax. When we get a different Mayor and a few different commissioners that are truly working for the people that put them in office, then we may change our minds on voting for a tax like this one.

Conservative Man
Conservative Man 06/06/12 - 07:38 pm
Agree with the negatives on

Agree with the negatives on the TSPLOST. Yet another "pieces and parts" approach to gaining revenue, one cent at a time. If legislators and lobbyists spent as much time finding things to CUT then we would not need a TSPLOST.....Not holding my breath on THAT approach...

KSL 06/06/12 - 09:01 pm
Electric cars need to pay

Electric cars need to pay taxes as well. They should not get a free ride on the roads.

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