Vote yes for vital SPLOST projects

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The special purpose local option sales tax, SPLOST, was enacted by Georgia legislators in 1985. It authorizes a county tax of 1 percent on items subject to sales tax for funding capital projects if approved by voters in a referendum.

In November 1996, a constitutional amendment was approved by the voters of Georgia granting local boards of education the same authorization (ELOST).

The SPLOST law has been amended to include debt service.

Both laws, SPLOST and ELOST, have been two of the best pieces of legislation passed in the past 25 years. One might say that our legislators did something right for a change.

As a result of these two laws, the landscape of Georgia has changed tremendously. Small, medium and large counties have benefited greatly with new schools, recreational centers, parks, courthouses, firehouses. libraries, improved roads, etc.

I ask: What if our legislators had not passed these laws?

Would we have been able to afford new facilities and badly needed infrastructure improvements with the burden placed on property owners? My answer is a big "No!"

We have a great list of projects with over two-thirds of the funding designated for needed infrastructure

projects and debt service. A small portion will be shared with private quality-of-life organizations and institutions, a plus for our community.

So let us registered electors go to the polls happily and vote a big ol' "Yes!"

Let not a few persuade us to vote no because there has been a disagreement with our commissioners over an issue not related to SPLOST. Also remember, the art of compromising is good politics.

We have no excuse and plenty of time: June 16 is election deadline.

Let us vote yes for a better Augusta.

Tracy E. Williams, Jr.

Augusta

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ONLY THE TRUTH
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ONLY THE TRUTH 06/10/09 - 03:11 am
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b s

b s

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 06/10/09 - 04:31 am
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OMG, Like we need a lake at

OMG, Like we need a lake at that abandoned mall. Get real. The tax is a great idea but now it has become a pet project list for the commission. If they stuck to the original idea of the tax there would be no opposition. Let's build a jail to house all the people that want to take from the people that pay into this tax. The people that work for a living want to know when they get off work they wont be robbed and get shot by some low life that wont work for a living.

dhd1108
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dhd1108 06/10/09 - 06:16 am
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vote yes for vital SPLOST

vote yes for vital SPLOST projects? More like.. vote no for unnecessary fluff. a rep for the construction company that would benefit from splost passing says "its like augusta's own little stimulus package" Oh yeah. like we need to model ourselves after the fed. DOY.

confederate american
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confederate american 06/10/09 - 06:48 am
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another blank check for the

another blank check for the idiots downtown,yea right! they aprove a building for 20 million they pi-- around for a couple years and now that building will cost 60 million.just look at what the new court house is costing us now.because of there pi--ing around.a lot of that money could have been used for other projects

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 08:07 am
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The problem with Alfred E.

The problem with Alfred E. Russell's SPLOST package is that the "vital" projects are few and the fluff, the unnecessary, and the downright wrong-headed projects dominate. We must vote NO in order to have the commission come up with a more sensible list later.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 08:09 am
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What is wrong-headed, you

What is wrong-headed, you ask? First off, Fred's Lake at Regency Mall was created as a spur-of-the-moment response to criticisms of Jimmy Smith and Calvin Holland about the appearance of Regency Mall. There have been no feasibility studies, Corps of Engineers concerns, EPD concerns, liability concerns, etc. It's time to send this bone-headed idea to the graveyard.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 08:12 am
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What is wrong-headed, you

What is wrong-headed, you ask? Secondly, it is asinine to take $10 million in future SPLOST tax collections to "pay back" the city's surplus fund (read that "slush fund") for the $10 million dollar gift to MCG. The surplus is still sitting at about $80 million. They should be using that huge surplus to lower our taxes, not raise them.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 08:24 am
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What is wrong-headed, you

What is wrong-headed, you ask? Third, it is morally wrong to take taxes by force and dole them out to private organizations who are politically connected. Giving millions to the Augusta Symphony, Augusta Mini-Theater, Augusta Museum of History, Paine College, Augusta Urban Ministries, Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, Augusta Historical Society, Inc., Jessye Norman School of Music, Imperial Theater, and a dozen more. They should raise their money privately, not through taxes.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 08:25 am
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I could go on and on.

I could go on and on.

crackertroy
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crackertroy 06/10/09 - 08:37 am
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Go on and on Little Lamb, I
Unpublished

Go on and on Little Lamb, I was thinking of voting (very skeptically) "yes" on SPLOST, but I'm ignorant to a lot of what you just posted.

WW1949
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WW1949 06/10/09 - 08:57 am
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I am voteing YES because the

I am voteing YES because the money collected is from everyone, rich, middle or poor, and not on the property owners only. It als is collected from everyone who passes thru and buys something. The squabbling commission will get the details worked out. This is just a power show among themselves because they think they are powerful perple and have a great sense of self worth. Look past that and think about your property taxes. As far as money going to civic projects, I see nothing wrong with that. It adds to the quality of life in the city and maybe some of you would benifit if you went to some of the venues.

dpenix
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dpenix 06/10/09 - 10:03 am
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Total projects needed

Total projects needed completion are in excess of $625 million. The community and leaders, working together, decided on the most important and that amounted to the $185 million current package. Do they need completed? Absolutly - and we will see the balance of $440 million follow behind these (if a more urgent project doesn't bump on of these). Passing this SPLOST will let visitors taxes help pay the costs AND reduce the possibility of our having a tax increase! VOTE TO PASS SPLOST VI!!!

mad_max
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mad_max 06/10/09 - 10:04 am
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Vote NO on SPOSTS. Our

Vote NO on SPOSTS. Our commissioners continue to mismanage all of our funds, including SPOSTS funds. And much of SPOSTS moneies goes to non-government functions that do not benefit ALL of the people. We cannot continue to give money to disfuntional leaders who turn around and hand it out to everyone in town that has their hand out. We give them SPLOSTS and they screw up the projects and give away or waste a lot of the money. The definition of stupid is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result. That is what we do every year when we give these clowns money. Cut off their "play money" and let them know we are watching, waiting, and expecting them to get their act TOGETHER before we give them any more money to fight over. Especially BETTY BEARD!!!

2tired2argueanymore
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2tired2argueanymore 06/10/09 - 10:34 am
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Vote yes so Betty Beard can

Vote yes so Betty Beard can use that money for her realestate.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 10:38 am
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Troy, if you are "on the

Troy, if you are "on the fence" for this SPLOST election, then you owe it to yourself to vote NO. That way, the commission will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new list for us to vote on this fall. Hopefully they will take some of the pork-barrell projects out and keep in the true infrastructure needs. They definitely need to take out the immoral projects that transfer taxpayer money to private individuals and organizations.

dhd1108
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dhd1108 06/10/09 - 10:39 am
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ww1949, dpenix, odds are very

ww1949, dpenix, odds are very good even if the splost passes you'll see another property tax increase within the year.

Nammy3
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Nammy3 06/10/09 - 10:45 am
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Vote NO ya'll! This isn't

Vote NO ya'll! This isn't even in my district, but I have a voice and I WILL voice my opinion! (Rose rant! lol) crack--if this is in your district, BEFORE you vote yes on ANYTHING, you should be investigating it thoroughly. You voted Obama, didn't you? lol

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 06/10/09 - 10:47 am
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To Little lamb and others

To Little lamb and others that are planning to vote no. I agree with your objections but I don't agree with your decision to vote against the SPLOST. The commission is going to raise the money for these projects one way or the other. As far as I am concerned I rather the money be raised by sales taxes than property taxes.By using the sales tax route everyone who lives in Richmond county plus others who shop in Richmond county will share the burden. It is a no brainer.

J.W.
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J.W. 06/10/09 - 11:08 am
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It might have had a chance if

It might have had a chance if there was no Regency Mall Lake or $4M to Paine College. Now... I highly doubt it will pass.

GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 06/10/09 - 11:25 am
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I just returned from marrying

I just returned from marrying my daughter off in Texas. I was amazed to hear that in Texas there is NO sales tax. Yes, that means property taxes are higher there than here, but I saw so much more construction of new homes, apartments and businesses. One problem is that Augusta is giving huge breaks to businesses and making the private home owners bear the brunt. I know this will raise the ire of some property owners, and that isn't my intent. My point is that, as little lamb and others are saying, SPLOST is no more that unregulated money that will be spent(or not) according to the whims of a Commission that has no foundation in REALITY. Regency Lake, The Ellis Canal, and a TEE center that is being used as no more than a political and racial pawn are great examples, as well as a totally unnecessary baseball stadium for a team that can't even fill the bleachers,. We need to vote down SPLOST, and not re-enact it until the buffoons running the city, from Deke on down, get a grip and learn the definition of responsibility and good financial sense.

canyouhearme
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canyouhearme 06/10/09 - 11:33 am
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Vote no on SPLOST!!!

Vote no on SPLOST!!!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 12:05 pm
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Well said, Copperhead.

Well said, Copperhead.

augustalibertarian
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augustalibertarian 06/10/09 - 12:17 pm
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In past SPLOST referenda,

In past SPLOST referenda, voters approved at least $24million for resurfacing roads and paving unpaved county roads. As of the Oct 31, 2007 report on past SPLOST's, the budgets for those road repaving projects had been revised to $10 million and only $2 million of that had been spent. The money for road maintenance was being diverted to huge cost overruns on boondoggle projects. That is the nature of these SPLOST packages. Voters are being hoodwinked into thinking they the monies are targeted to projects that they want to see done - when in fact, just like all other tax and spend rackets, the money is being spent according to the whims - and for the benefit - of a very small political class who are using taxpayers to pay off business cronies and folks who can deliver the votes.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 06/10/09 - 12:34 pm
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GA Copperhead. If the city is

GA Copperhead. If the city is giving breaks to business as you claim you should report the specifics to the Ga. attorney general as it is against the law to give any property owner, whether private or business, any tax breaks.

jack
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jack 06/10/09 - 12:55 pm
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If I still lived in A/RC, I

If I still lived in A/RC, I would b\vote NO on SPLOST. Little Lam has made very good points on why NOT to vote yes and another good example is the money intended for repaving streets and roads have been siphoned off for pet projects that has left Augusta/RC some of the worst streets and roads I have ever driven on here in the US or Europe.

canyouhearme
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canyouhearme 06/10/09 - 01:06 pm
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vote no on splost!!!!

vote no on splost!!!!

luckie
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luckie 06/10/09 - 01:40 pm
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I think Augusta needs two

I think Augusta needs two malls. I say renovate and reopen Regency and add extra security. This would make more people fell safe at the Augusta Mall and the saggy pants would go back to their side of town. Too many people are hanging out and not spending money. The area could be made as an outdoor flea market or something similar. It has sat too long and something productive needs to be done with it now. Apartment complexes are having too many incidents so that is a bad choice.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 06/10/09 - 02:00 pm
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Luckie, please remember that

Luckie, please remember that Regency Mall is PRIVATE PROPERTY. The only things that can be DONE with it are the things that the owner wants. It's not your place to force a property owner to do something with his property that is not in his best interest.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 06/10/09 - 02:56 pm
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But Little Lamb, the property

But Little Lamb, the property owner is not maintaining it and it has fallen into a condition that is defined as Demolition by Neglect. All this while the owner takes a large write off on taxes. At this point ARC can condemn it and take it from the property owner if they don't fix the problems. Then they could turn it into the OK Saggypants Corrall and clean up Augusta Mall!

RCRC
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RCRC 06/10/09 - 04:24 pm
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We must vote NO until past

We must vote NO until past SPLOST projects are complete. Many of the projects in the upcomig SPLOST referendum are in my district and are worth while projects, but the commission needs to complete what we've already voted on. At least get past SPLOST projects started and we can vote next year on a new SPLOST referendum.

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