TSPLOST Opposition Fighting to Educate Public
Group claims transportation tax (TSPLOST) will not relieve traffic congestion and will not be temporary.
The Transportation Leadership Coalition (TLC) has launched a grassroots campaign to inform voters of what it says is the truth about the proposed regional transportation sales tax (TSPLOST). The truth, according TLC, is:
- Proposed rail projects will not relieve traffic congestion.
- TSPLOST is not a “temporary tax;” Ultra-expensive projects will require billions more to complete than the allocated tax amount.
- There is a 'Plan B.'
Approximately 75 grassroots activists representing several organizations, along with elected officials who opposed the one percent transportation sales tax, gathered at Adventure Outdoors in Marietta to discuss the proposed one percent sales tax statewide referendum.
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“We put out the invitation to various grassroots organizers to meet under one roof and learn more about this tax. We were very pleased with the response from across the state as far south as Valdosta,” said Jack Staver, chairman of Transportation Leadership Coalition in a news release.
The result of this meeting was a coordinated effort to oppose the sales tax that supporters say will alleviate traffic congestion in the metro Atlanta area. From this meeting and subsequent meetings and conversations, the TLC was formed.
The focus of TLC is to educate the public on the claims of MAVEN (Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network), a pro-sales tax advocacy group, and Untie Atlanta (Citizens for Transportation Mobility), said David Stockert, chairman, who is also CEO of Post Properties.
The primary education vehicle for TLC will be its Web site, TrafficTruth.net, as well as e-mail and social media.
“MAVEN is well funded to the tune of $2 million some of which is through the unconstitutional use of taxpayer money from CID’s (Community Improvement District)," said Staver.
"We are truly a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization that is self-funded through donations. We dispel the myths about traffic solutions claimed by ARC (Atlanta Regional Commission) through our fact sheet, which can be downloaded from our Web site, TrafficTruth.net. The two-page document provides voters with real facts and real numbers that rebut every falsehood from ARC, MAVEN and Untie Atlanta," he said.
(Editor's Note: The TLC fact sheet is also attached to this article as a PDF.)
Other organizations are also opposed to the tax plan including the NAACP, Sierra Club, 9-12 projects, Georgia Campaign for Liberty and Tea Parties. While these groups all oppose the tax for different reasons, for TLC it's just proof that there are issues with the TSPLOST plan and the tax across the board.
"One big question is why is it legal for an organization like ARC to use taxpayer dollars to tell lies and falsehoods to the voters," Staver said. "If the TSPLOST was such a great idea, why do they need $2 million plus an additional $6 million from Untie Atlanta for an advertising campaign to spin it and sell it to the people of Georgia? One would think they could deliver a winning message without resorting to lying to the voters. And finally, why would the people of Georgia want to give up local control, also known as ‘home rule?'"
TLC is encouraging public debate on the topic to include both sides of the issue.
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- County to Spend $1.1 Million to Study Transportation Alternatives
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