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Taxpayers Are Not Being Told the Truth

TSPLOST is more than just a penny tax for 10 years, ongoing costs will affect generations to come.

One would think that with the mess the economy is in and the number of unemployed people still above 9 percent of the workforce we would be developing ways to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit in our country. Not so. Every time we turn around, we are seeing another government program being proposed. We have come to the place in our state where we are being asked to vote ourselves tax increases in order to be successful.

Our legislators insist that we must do something about transportation and the only answer they can find is in the failed systems of an almost bankrupt Europe. The taxpayers are being used as if they are a thing to be mistreated when they are not told the truth related to how their taxes will be spent to enhance the transportation needs of our state. Some people are trying to justify a plan to have . With the promised successful lifestyle of suburban living looming in the balance, the jury pool is being compromised as we move toward the .

It might surprise some people to know I don’t oppose expansion of MARTA or upgrades if those transportation projects can be funded by private investors. I dislike not being told the full story on the issue. We are being led to believe that with a tax we vote ourselves into, our transportation needs will be solved for years to come.  Just building the system is one part of the overall picture. There will be operational and maintenance costs going into the next several generations for the citizens of Dacula and Gwinnett County to pay.

From where I stand, voters need to understand the truth about TSPLOST and what this tax will mean not just for the next 10 years, but for decades to come.

John Cook June 22, 2011 at 02:03 AM
Gwinnett current SPLOST revenue in our 2011 budget: $128,551,273 10-year sales tax revenue (projected): $1,285,512,730 Projects not yet cut from TSPLOST list: Total Bike/Ped Projects: $1,849,840 Total Light Rail / Transit Projects: $1,295,500,000 Total Roadway Projects: $1,658,912,028 Grand Total Gwinnett Projects still on unconstrained list: $2,956,261,868 Projects that need to be cut to constrain the project list to projected revenue: $1,670,749,138 The list needs to be constrained to the projected revenue (balanced). Some projects on the current list will be cut prior to Oct. 13. http://www.atlantaregionalroundtable.com/projects.html Gwinnett will contribute more than 1/7 of the total sales tax revenue to the 10-county Atlanta Region TSPLOST. I predict that we will not get 1/7 of the projects value. http://it3.ga.gov/Documents/2013-2023RevenueProjections.pdf
Jimmy Orr June 22, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Ray, I was listening in on the telephone town hall meeting Monday evening to a comment a man from Bethlehem made. He implied that TSPLOST would bring us into the 21st. Century. Am I missing something here? I though we were already in the 21st. Century. As for light rail, whether it is called developer's choo choos (my favorite), light rail, or streetcars, it is 19th. Century technology. Also, remember that to be effective, a public transit system must have a definitive "HUB" where the transit systems routes originate/terminate. Translated, this means that the ridership would be going to the major location of business and commerce (downtown) or going to the major location in which would enable them to transfer to other routes that would take them to their designated place of business and commerce. Another thing to remember, and this might be a point that Ed Varn was making in another Dacula Patch article, is why would a group plan to spend an estimated $5 to $6 million dollars to "educate" the public as to why they should vote for TSPLOST unless there was an ulterior motive in doing so? Perhaps the concept of TSPLOST is to "educate" us and introduce us to the "new" Five Points in downtown Atlanta which, in my opinion, would be the new multimodal terminal being built on the former railroad properties known as the "gulch" which supposedly would be the originating/terminating point for all means of transit in Metro Atlanta. ( to be continued)
Jimmy Orr June 22, 2011 at 02:39 PM
(Orr - continuation) If the "new" Five Points in downtown Atlanta is to become the major "HUB" for Metro Atlanta, you best pack a lunch and take an overnight bag with a change of clothes or at least take a copy of "Gone With The Wind" to read. You should complete the novel by the time you reach your destination. FYI, Ray, I had a former executive of a major corporation agree with me on the "new" Five Points in downtown Atlanta. No sir, Ray, we are not being told the truth.
Ed Varn June 22, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Exactly, Jimmy. And keep in mind: in the history of the world, you'll have to look mighty hard to find where a tax, once imposed, was ever done away with.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew June 24, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Patrick, The presentation on the TSPLOST to date is subtly misleading. It’s being pitched as a onetime thing, but if you listen and then read the reports that are released, the members of the round table indicate that this is the FIRST round. The intent appears to be that once in place; it will be extended indefinitely, albeit by the voters. “How can we leave programs unfinished?” Even during the first teleconference, BUCKY had no real answer for HOW extended operation costs would be paid. Of course, if the state reps modify how SPLOST funds can be spent at some time in the future and include maintenance. As to Marta or light rail, a very telling response to a question was given by Chairwoman Nash during that call. It concerned light rail to Briscoe field and her reply was worded very uniquely, she stated no funds would be used to support AVIATION. Well light rail enhancements in the area of the airport would NOT be supporting AVIATION – it would be transit. In closing, it seems this is being pitched as a chance of a lifetime because there are matching Federal dollar percentages to consider that will give us more bang for our buck. But at a time when folks want the Fed to stop with the debt increases shouldn’t we take a breath? If the final list makes sense and can stand on its own, without considering the Fed matching funds, it should be up for a vote as long as EVERYONE knows that the 1 percent, once passed, is pretty much here to stay.

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