TSPLOST is a nonstarter

  • Follow Letters

On July 31 we will be asked to vote on a proposed transportation improvements special purpose local option sales tax that would add 1 percent sales tax for 10 years. When you vote, please consider this:

• We already pay 29.9 cents in Georgia and federal road taxes per gallon of gasoline

• This $841 million TSPLOST would be in addition to the existing 1 percent transportation sales tax.

• This proposed TSPLOST is a 33 percent increase in our county sales tax.

This tax is planned to be permanent, regardless of how it’s packaged. This proposed TSPLOST is planned to support ongoing expenses, not just one-time projects. For instance, the funds would go to Augusta Public Transit operations and maintenance. We can’t fund long-term maintenance and operations with a “temporary” tax.

The county has used our tax dollars, county resources and avenues available only to it to promote its agenda. The changeable message boards on the roadside calling for “yes” votes on the measure appear to be paid for with our tax dollars, and are on highway rights-of-way. The newsletters that arrive with my water bill tout the benefits of this new TSPLOST. No political candidate can use these methods to propose their position, nor can those who oppose the new TSPLOST.

It also causes some concern that the ones promoting, requesting and receiving the benefits will be the ones counting the ballots.

The recent projects in our area have transformed roads and intersections into mini versions of Atlanta. The Interstate 20 and Wheeler Road modifications are prime examples. The county would be better served by living within its means – its current budget – as we taxpayers do, making changes that give the greatest benefit for the lowest cost, rather than asking for a 25 percent raise and turning our tree-lined roadways into a giant slab of concrete.

Vote “no” July 31.

Comments (12) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nevertoolate 07/18/12 - 06:46 am
I agree.

So, now our total sales tax will be 8%. A little far reaching (into my pocket).

useful 07/18/12 - 07:52 am
1% tsplost tax

We need this tax to get our roads up to date,and safer to ride on.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 07/18/12 - 08:35 am

Siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars from the pockets of the citizens and running it through the DOT and eventually into the pockets of the paving companies is not the way to go. Cleaning out corruption and cronyism would leave plenty of money from the per-gallon gas taxes to build & maintain the roads.

Vote NO! on T-SPLOST.

blues550 07/18/12 - 09:34 am
No! No! No! No!

Government has enough money and needs to spend it wisely. No more tax increases and NO to T-Splost.

faithson 07/18/12 - 09:45 am
users should pay

I don't understand how 'everyone' should pay this tax. Shouldn't the users be the ones to pay ? Shouldn't there be some way to tax vehicles by weight, thus equally distributing costs versus use. I am sure some wizard can figure this out without pushing a 1% sales tax down ALL our throats.

avidreader 07/18/12 - 10:02 am
No! No! No!

This is my third post concerning TSPLOST. As Schumacher says, this county (region) needs to live within its means, just like we do. Gasoline and car tag taxes will probably increase if this penny tax is not approved, but so what. At least we, the citizens, are using our voices to let the politicos know that we are paying attention and demand that they listen. Also, to repeat Mr. S's comment -- once a ten-year tax is levied, it will never go away.

No! No! No! to TSPLOST.

nocnoc 07/18/12 - 11:37 am
Old enough to remember a 3% state tax

A local tax bump, has been historically followed by a statewide tax bump.

But, with that aside I am supposed to trust GA-DOT to spend the money wisely despite:

* 1/2 mile long sink hole on Hwy 56 Spur (Loop) that was to be fixed over 6 years ago?

* Hwy 56 from US-25 to Brown Rd. being Georgia's own Death Rd. all because GA-DOT eliminated turn lanes to widen it?

* they built Toll roads with the promise once they were paid for the Toll would be removed. Then broke those promises.

* Wasting 10's of millions to set up a High Tech Peach Pass for I-85. Charging for Interstate tolls for the privileged few that can afford them. Then fudging the numbers of free passes given out to special people and the expenses that will not be recovered for 10 to 15 years.

* Running a closed door budget, until the Governor recently took control out of the hands of a few people an made the process open to the public.

* plus the millions spent for an over-designed, accident prone, confusing I-20/Wheeler/Bobby Jones Interchange.

GA-DOT and County DOT's seem to have forgotten the basic rule of road and highway design. KISS. Keep It Simple for Stupid.

Bigger isn't better, where Simple is best.

Suggestion to GA-DOT:
Consider using County Honor Prisoners & weekend community service (fined) workers to maintain road mowing, cleaning and pothole patching. That should save the taxpayers about 5% or more.

nocnoc 07/18/12 - 12:06 pm
Almost forgot

Things Never To Expect Or Trust:

A fox to guard a hen house.

A Politician to spend taxpayer money unbiasedly or wisely.

Bureaucrats to develop a minimum budget and live within it.

Planning departments to do what is needed, not what is wanted by special interest groups.

Any one, at any level in government to plan beyond their next election or job evaluation for a raise.

onlysane1left 07/18/12 - 11:53 am
Seems like the Georgia state

Seems like the Georgia state government is taking on the same role that the federal government in get more money so they can waste it......
Oh wait, only Democrats do that.......

socks99 07/18/12 - 02:23 pm
Historically, voters tend to

Historically, voters tend to favor these sales tax referendums; and while this TSPLOST vote might end in "no," it will be followed by other measures that might well say, "yes!"

In one sense, the TSPLOST is a lot like federal "stimulus" measures intended to fund "shovel-ready" projects; they will, indeed, boost employment within the construction industry. The secondary effects of this spending will boost demand for certain products and services; some producers might even think the boost was permanent, and add workers and increase capacity. It is worth noting, further, that because the referendums are so-often renewed by the voters, the boost in spending and positive effects on the economy might be permanent.

On this last point, however, it is well within reason that the spending and positive effects will not be permanent; and once the funds are expended, the broader economy will contract causing all boats to sit lower in the water. Because the TSPLOST funds represents an obligation on FUTURE tax proceeds, then those funds will not be available to buttress flagging fiscal balances or to stave-off bond vigilantes who want more restrictive and expensive lending contracts.

The popularity of the TSPLOST among most elected officials is probably due to its "short-term" benefits; those benefits tend to correspond favorably to the various 2,4, or 6 year, terms of office; citizens may be better served thinking "long-term," and should elect representatives who share that wisdom and vision.

David Parker
David Parker 07/18/12 - 03:53 pm
I don't know if I see 841

I don't know if I see 841 million dollars worth of need in our roads between here and Savannah anyway. Not to mention that we have already been paying into funds that should be maintaining these roads, which by asking for more money the DOT have shown that they cannot apply our funds effectively. If they are looking at building new roads, then that's unfortunate b/c I'm not ready to pay for another road to be built.

if you're asking me that is...

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs