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Vote no on TSPLOST
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The state of Georgia through our General Assembly and Governor is asking the voters of all Georgia counties to vote on a transportation 1% sales tax called a TSPLOST in July 2012.

This 1% sales tax is in addition to other 1% sales taxes counties already have in place.

This would be called the TSPLOST (Transportation Special Projects Local Option Sales Tax).

Most counties have a 1% ELOST, a 1% SPLOST, and a 1% LOST.

• The ELOST (Education Local Option Sales Tax) is a special tax for local school systems to improve infrastructure within their county.

• The SPLOST (Special Projects Local Option Sales Tax) is a special tax for local county government to improve infrastructure within their county.

• The LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) is a special tax to alleviate property taxes within the county, i.e. allows a reduction in the millage rate.

Now the state of Georgia wants voters to approve a 1% sales tax for roads and bridges and other infrastructure that falls under GDOT’s (Georgia Department of Transformation) purview.

This would bring to four the number of 1% optional sales taxes placed upon all citizens of Georgia.

Counties using the SPLOST tax get to keep all the monies collected (100%) from this tax to benefit the needs of their county. This tax can, and most often is, used to improve roads and bridges and other needs of the county.

Under the TSPLOST rules, counties are only allowed to share 25% of the tax collected within their region of counties to be used within their respective counties.

The other 75% goes to GDOT to use wherever the state decides within the region, and there is a need for improvement bound by the constrained lists. This is usually in heavily populated areas where there are heavy traffic patterns.

Here is the main web link. Once there just click on the Projects lists or adopted criteria for your region or any other link you might want to see:

This is a discriminatory tax pitting larger counties against smaller counties, with larger counties getting the bigger piece of the 75% that GDOT controls from the tax collected.

Our counties have a SPLOST we can use for improvement, and we keep 100% of it. We don’t need a TSPLOST for the GDOT to mis–manage as they have mis–managed funds so badly in the past.

This TSPLOST is being put to the voters because our elected officials have failed in their duties to provide a budget and make a decision on how best to spend our tax dollars.

And now they are asking the voters to make a choice about a 1% sales tax to increase the revenue needed for road and bridge improvements.

We elected them to make these decisions on tax increases and budget decisions and now they are spending untold tens of thousands in efforts to get this tax passed by the voters in July 2012 because they have failed to make decisions and now are attempting to shift the decision to the voters, and let the property owners guarantee the debt.

This is a bad tax for the citizens of Georgia. I ask you to send our legislators back to Atlanta to make the right decision and do what we pay them for, and that is to make hard decisions based on equality of taxation.

The ones that do the most damage to our transportation infrastructure are the trucking industry, let them man up and bear a bigger share of the burden.

This tax hurts the poor the worst and there is NO food exemption for this tax.

Vote no in July 2012 for TSPLOST.

Mike Sims