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T-SPLOST won't fly
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In regards to the proposed T–SPLOST tax:

The statement, “Economic development suffers if we don’t pass this tax” is not a valid statement, because Georgia has always been behind the 8 Ball in regards to transportation, but yet look at the growth we have experienced.

Georgia now ranks 11th in the country as of 2010 and this occurred mostly since 1995. The economic vitality of Georgia is alive and well considering the slump the country is in.

GDOT is going to waste a lot of that 75 percent money before it ever gets to the counties on administration, studies, etc. I will say the counties will be lucky to get back 60–65 percent.

And which is best for your county, a 100 percent SPLOST tax or a percentage of a T–SPLOST tax?

GDOT in Sept. 2011 had another change in leadership; one reason being it has become too politicized. GDOT in the past was a well–run and efficient organization but within in the last 10–15 years or so has become too much of a political bureaucracy to fulfill its duties properly or even be cost–efficient.

I will use a metaphor to describe GDOT beginning with the Transit Governance Study Commission. Everyone wants this airplane called T–SPLOST to fly, a pilot and destination has not been established and the fuel to get there is not yet available and won’t be unless the tsplost tax passes.

So the Governance Committee does a study and decides it is out of their ability to fly the plane and dumps it on state government representatives with input from local reps called county commissioners, neither one of which know how to fly the plane either, and are not sure of their destination but know they want the money to get there.

Meanwhile through frustration with political pressure from state reps and the Chamber of Commerce, GDOT (who is normally the pilot) goes into disarray and now faces the possibility they may not know how to fly the plane any longer and for sure does not know the destination and must contend with further political interference, now from a different set of state reps and also local reps.

And the end result will be the plane may never fly, and if it does it may not get to its destination because of detours to exotic places characterized by stops in places like Jekyll Island to form more committees. The best thing that can happen to this planned destination of confusion is for the voters not to supply the fuel for the plane.

Why should voters support a tax to fly a plane with no pilot or fully planned destination?

Why should voters support a tax when the vote has been rigged by unbalanced region populations where 2 or 3 counties decide the vote of 11 or 12 other counties?

Georgia’s biggest problem, the main area where Georgia is behind, is the water supply to support the population growth we have experienced and where State officials should spend a lot of time and effort resolving. We can get by with traffic congestion; we cannot get by with lack of water.

So why is this T–SPLOST tax so bad? Because the ones who will suffer with this tax are the low income, the fixed income, and other poor.

There will be no economic benefit for them as they become more dependent on government support because what little they have, more will be taken away; and those who support government with their taxes will see other taxes rise to support the poor who will need more government assistance.

Slim down GDOT, renew its purpose, eliminate some of their programs not directed specifically at improving transportation, install strong transportation leaders with knowledge in the field, eliminate political hacks in the department with no experience in transportation issues, provide sources of revenue from those who benefit the most from transportation (the users) and not the poor, renew GDOT’s pilot license, get out of their way and let them do their job and they will set the destination and get us there. Because the rank and file of GDOT has the skills and the Chamber of Commerce and the politicians don’t.

Vote for Home Rule — Vote No to T–SPLOST 2012.

Mike Sims