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Plan to Change TSPLOST Date Is Political Ploy

Proposed date change is an attempt to increase the chance of passage for the transportation referendum.

When Gov. Nathan Deal issued the call for the special session of the General Assembly which began yesterday, he included a proposal that the .

The was to be placed before the voters in a primary election next July. From the time the General Assembly passed legislation allowing the people to decide on a new tax, there has been much push back from the voters regarding adding another tax on what is already an overtaxed electorate. Deal’s spokesperson, Brian Robinson, said the governor “would like to see the TSPLOST date moved to November in order to include as many Georgia voters as possible in this important decision for our state’s future.”

The Governor’s call for a change in the voting date followed the report that the main public relations firm hired to promote the positive side of this new tax had resigned and would no longer be pumping the people and the media with the positive viewpoint for this additional tax. From the beginning, the chances have seemed dim that voters would willingly subject themselves to additional taxes.

Just last week indicating local voters have a negative view of the TSPLOST. The main concern, other than having to pay another penny, is the . Some believe this so-called transportation solution is a veiled attempt to expand heavy and light rail throughout north Georgia. Voters are very leery of any expansion of MARTA into the northeastern suburbs. The issue is more than just the expansion of the rail lines, but the fact that no one can estimate the long term cost of operation and maintenance of the rail lines.

It is the long term costs of some of these proposed transportation that will cripple future generations of citizens with the burden of additional taxes. In attempting to find a solution to today's traffic issues, our lawmakers may create a much larger problem down the road. Delaying the vote in order to have more time to sell the voters on the idea is not going to change that.

From where I stand, whether the TSPLOST vote be held in June, July or November, many of us have already decided our vote will be no.

Roger Hale August 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Ray, you are absolutely correct about it being political to move the vote date. It's also financial as the big road construction companies who would benefit most pump lots of dollars into our politician's campaign coffers. Back when they first started this greedy splost nonsense, they always wanted the vote at an oft time so they could at least get government employees and developers to go vote and pass the splost due to citizen apathy. However, now with citizens finally getting tired of multiple splosts picking their pockets and depriving their children, they want to put the vote on a general election date, hoping to hide it among other issues. The problem here is zoning and growth control. No matter how many roads you build, nothing will improve because the state legislators won't improve the laws governing development / zoning and the county commissioners won't say NO to their developer buddies. Why? Gee, could it be the money they get for reelection? Until this part changes, taking taxpayer money and giving it to road construction companies will continue to be a wasteful, bad idea that provides no positive results for the taxpayer. So, what can you do? Don't stop at voting NO on any splost, also vote NO on your state legislators and your commissioners. Bring in new people with new ideas and that realize that splost is a dog that no longer hunts effectively, not that it ever did.
Ray Newman August 17, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Thanks for reading the column and the comment Roger. We have to find a way to keep the people informed and aware concerning all the issues and people they will be voting on in each election. I hope the people are waking up to the issues and will vote from an informed position in every election
John Cook August 20, 2011 at 02:19 PM
The governor's argument "to include as many Georgia voters as possible in this important decision" is absurd. What prevents ALL registered voters from voting on the issue in July? Either ignorance on the issue or apathy--resulting in a lack of motivation to go to the polls to vote. Are these the sort of voters that we desire to govern us, Mr. Governor? In November, I would guess that few voters will walk into the poll with any previous knowledge of the projects that are on the TSPLOST list or that the tax will last for 10 years. They may even think that the tax will help to solve some of our congestions problems <grin> and will have no clue that most of the money is going for projects that will benefit the Chamber of Commerce rather than citizen transportation needs. They won't have a clue that the tax will actually take thousands of dollars out of their family budget and mine. As the Governor said, this is an important decision. I could really care less if uninformed voters have opportunity to govern and run my life!

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