The TSPLOST vote that will go before voters in Gwinnett and other areas on July 31 has gained a powerful opponent: Gwinnett columnist and publisher Elliott Brack.
In the latest edition of his newsletter Gwinnett Forum, Brack says the state's elected leaders are "shirking their responsibility" by passing the issue on to voters.
What are your thoughts on the TSPLOST? Do you agree with Brack? Tell us in the comments below.
"Simply put, the Legislature should have solved this problem itself 18 months ago with a plan for improving transportation. Had they, we would be 18-24 months ahead with improving transportation and by this, adding construction jobs," Brack wrote. "But because many of the present-day legislators and its leadership are short-sighted and weak-minded, they fail to pass a meaningful transportation solution. Instead, they toss a complicated issue to the people to decide the question. That's wrong, and shows that elected leaders are shirking their responsibility."
Brack also touched on the local effect of the proposed tax, which involves all of metro Atlanta: "Presently in Gwinnett, we have a six percent sales tax, including two local SPLOST programs. We might add, these two programs keep all the sales taxes collected in the county remaining in Gwinnett.
"But for the solving of transportation purposes, this T-SPLOST would add a penny sales tax throughout Georgia (if all regions agreed), meaning in Gwinnett a seven cent sales tax. That's getting mighty high, and a far cry from the three percent sales tax that Herman Talmadge started in 1948 to solve our problems in Georgia."
The TSPLOST, also known as the Regional Transportation Referendum, would fund transportation-related improvements in Gwinnett and the region.
A proposed list of improvements already has been decided, but those could be changed after the vote.
Backers, which include Gov. Nathan Deal and former Suwanee Mayor Dave Williams, say the transportation improvements are necessary to bring jobs to metro Atlanta.
Brack is a Norcross resident, and also is a former publisher of the Gwinnett edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
So, how do you feel about the TSPLOST? Do you fear jobs will be lost if it fails? Tell us in the comments below.
Compiled by Steve Burns.