Ironside, while I am not voting for T-SPLOST, your factual inaccuracies deserve correction.
First, T-SPLOST is for 10 years and must be re-authorized by referendum for any extension. It is not a "A new tax that will never go away."
Second, there is nothing in the T-SPLOST slate of improvements dealing with a Macon-Atlanta rail line that has anything to do with our Region (12). All T-SPLOST funds are slated for approved projects (75%) and local discretion (25%) solely within this region.
So, if you want to be against T-SPLOST, fine. If you want to influence others, at least get your facts straight. I suggest www.t-splost.com.
As, to the fuel tax; it's one of the lowest in the nation, Deal has vetoed increases mandated by existing law, and it doesn't come close to supporting transportation infrastructure maintenance. The motor fuel tax needs to be raised, period. A reasonable increase from the current rate of 7.5 cents per gallon to 10 or 12 cents per gallon would be reasonable. The more you drive the more you pay. We could consider "use corridors" such as I-95, I-75 and I-85, for higher tax rates (say 15%). That would bring in a lot more out-of state revenue from fuel sales.
I am against T-SPLOST mainly because of the regional nature of the tax. I favor SPLOSTs when they are county/city specific and for specific purposes such as education. Even though 25% of the revenue allocated would be for local projects, I have not seen anything from Bulloch County/Statesboro proposing specific expenditures. I also take issue with the current advertisements supporting T-SPLOST. The ones where, "We can't wait on Atlanta" and "We can't wait on Washington" are the tag lines. We voted those folks in and if they're not doing what we want, we need to vote them out and replace them.
Although I think T-SPLOST has a lot of good things to recommend it, I will be voting against it. Our politicians have failed us over the last twenty years; dillydallying over such critical issues as whether you can carry a concealed firearm into church - or a bar. I refuse to bail them out of the mess they have created.
I agree with sales tax (T-SPLOST) because everyone pays. The same for gas taxes to fund road repair. We have had our County SPLOST tax for years and it has been renewed two times, that I remember. We were told for the first T-SPLOST tax that it was only for a five year time frame and it would go away. The politicians become dependent on them so they never go away. Please tell me a tax that has gone away? I am all for a sales tax to replace property and State income taxes and an increase in the gas tax rather than this new tax going on the books, to pay for road repair. Why did they not just increase the gas tax? Why is the Governor not willing to do that, but is willing to add another tax to do the same thing? Could it be that his signature is not needed to pass this new T-SPLOST so he can't be blamed for raising taxes? This is the games the politicians play. The rail system T-SPLOST 1% tax is another one in the works that I believe will be on the November ballot. It is a State wide T-SPLOST.
If a proposed ballot referendum is not already slated and publicized, then it cannot be on the November ballot.
And your point about the Governor not being willing to raise the gas tax but allow T-SPLOST because he won't have to sign it is (in my opinion) exactly correct. Neither the governor nor our other elected state officials have the gumption to raise taxes for infrastructure maintenance.
It's takes a fool, an idiot or a demogogic misanthrope, to rail against all tax increases. Especially a tax that amounts to a "use" tax such as fuel. And a tax which is designated for a specific purpose - road maintenance. Oh, I forgot we had some other taxes (called fees) like the one on old tires which were designated for specific purposes. But our elected officials chose to spend that money on something else.
"Oh, I forgot we had some other taxes (called fees) like the one on old tires which were designated for specific purposes. But our elected officials chose to spend that money on something else."
To me, that is one of the more disturbing things our "lawmakers" do.
I agree with you guys here with the exception of I think it is smart for our politicians to put this to referendum. With today's anti-tax political climate it should be the voters who make this decision.
I also think it is despicable of our elected officials to rob Peter to pay Paul such as charging a tax for tire disposal and using the money for some other pet project. It happens at the local level but it really happens a lot in Washington.
Sadly, this is a story of our state elected leaders passing off a tough decision to local leaders. "We have a statewide problem, but because we're gutless, to save our behinds here's the mess we made for you to clean up."
The good news is if passed, Statesboro and Bulloch County managed to get a lot out of this. I looked at the county's web site and the project lists and we come out pretty good even compared with Chatham County.
I drive to Savannah in my job 3 times a week and my life is better if Highway 67 is widened to I-16.
The question is, is iy worth the extra penny? I don't worry about how the county will spend the money as much as I would if it got into the hands of city council or the school board (who would probably paint dolphins on the road). It looks like the county will put most of their 25% money toward resurfacing paved roads (please don't forget Burkhalter Road Mr. Commissioners). If it saves me the cost of a blown tire or two it's a decent trade off.
If I vote yes, it will be because Bulloch County did a good job of negotiating the loot away from other counties to do more here. What happens in Atlanta can definitely stay there.
1. The problem is when we first began the T-SPLOST, I believe it was 3 or 4 cents on the dollar. It was to be used to build new schools and upgrade others. Now that the schools have been built is there any talk by our politicians to do away with that 3 or 4 cents on the dollar. I have not heard anyone say get rid of it.
2. These taxes never go away. They only get worse. A penny here a penny there an soon we are talking about a lot of money being taken out of every family's budegt. The averabe family of four spends $12,000 dollars a year buying food, clothing, and many other things they need each year that is subject to T-SPLOST. Each penny cost that family $120 dollare a year. This new penny added to the seven we are currently paying will bring our sales tax to 8%. This family of four will now pay $960 a year in T-SPLOST taxes. When will it stop!
Ironside, to clarify: the state sales tax is 4%; LOST, S-PLOST, and E-LOST each add 1%; T-SPLOST, if approved (by the voters, right? I'm asking because you make it sound like we're not involved in the process) would add another 1%. So your hypothetical family of 4 would pay $960 in sales tax, $120 in T-SPLOST taxes. Except that food and prescription drugs are exempted from the 4% state sales tax part, so the actual taxes paid would be less depending on how much of that $12,000 is spent on food and p-drugs.
I agree that much of government is inefficient, but there are two things you have to keep in mind: first, roads can't repair themselves, and second, government does not exist to make a profit; that's what business exists to do.
I have no problem paying taxes to repair roads. I don't want our politicians sneeking in another tax when we already have a road repair tax when we by gas. Have the Legislature debate if that gas tax needs to be increased and force our elected officials to go on the record as for or against an increase. The problem with road repair taxes is the formula used to determine where the money is spent. Atlanta gets an unfair amount at the expense of rural counties. Fix that first. Finally, the T-SPLOST is a new tax added to those taxes families are already paying in a time when everyone has to watch where every penny is going. As for the profit motive, it insures efficiency which is why government run by socialists always brankrupts the government. It is only a matter of time, and that time has arrived!
Ironside, any suggestions as to who is supposed to fix the unfair allocation of gas tax monies, and how?
Your assessment of profit and government are not well considered. The profit motive drives all businesses, but that hardly means all businesses are efficient. There are many definitions of socialism, but none of them deal with profit motive. Nor do any of them apply to the United States. And as far as I can tell, there is zero relationship between whether a government is socialist or not and whether it goes bankrupt.
Please explain what is the governing principle used to insure that government is run efficiently? What is your definition of socialism?
I don't think there is a "governing principle" "used to insure that government is run efficiently." That is a problem, but since the purpose of government is not to make a profit, I'm pretty certain that profit is a poor choice for said governing principle! How would that even work? What's the product government would be selling for a profit?
My statements concerning socialism apply to any of the several definitions out there. What definition do you use that equals anti-profit and always goes bankrupt?
Socialism is using the power of government to tax working people to pay for socialist government programs like Social Security and hundreds of other programs. These programs are vote buying programs. The more people the Socialist can send a government check to, the more votes they will get for their re-election. Right now Obama has the government spending tax dollars to run T.V., radio, and newspaper ads that tell people how to sign up for food stamps. He needs more votes. Both Parties use the peoples' money to buy votes. Both Parties have Socialists in them. The Democrat Party is almost totally Socialists. The Republican Party has begun voting out of office their Socialists thanks to the raise of the Tea Party and the 2010 election. The Americans that vote Republican do so because Republicans steal the people's money at a slower pace, to be spent on their foolish vote buying programs. The only way to stop this taxing and spending is to vote them out of office and downsize the government so the working people can keep more of their hard earned money. Move the people from government checks to their own pay check, by getting the government off the backs of business so that our Capitalist economy can do what it has always done, create jobs and prosperity for anyone willing to work.
"Socialism is using the power of government to tax working people to pay for socialist government programs like Social Security and hundreds of other programs."
Okay, I remember you once claiming to be a teacher, in which case you should know better than to define a term with itself: 'A socialist government is one that has socialist government programs.' All the rest is meaningless until you explain what you mean by "socialism" without simply repeating the word. Can you give an example of a government program that is NOT socialist, and explain why it isn't?
Don't forget to explain how a for-profit government would work, too.
Scindapsus is correct, unless I was sleeping my way through school Socialism is an economic system in which Government owns the means of production and has nothing to do with welfare programs like Social Security.
For example a country can be both Socialist and Democratic but a country can not be both Socialist and Capitalist. In our country for the most part we do not have a Socialist form of government however some disturbing things are pushing us toward that system such as the purchase of certain industry thru the recent bail outs of Banks plus GM and Chrysler.
My, we have gone far afield from TSPLOST. But, to correct one misperception, there is not an unfair allocation of motor fuel taxes into the metro Atlanta area. We do not pay fuel taxes to support Atlanta. Metro Atlanta gets more because it has more people and sells more gas.
Yep I hear ya Bryant, After reading the last few entries I felt like I was back in Mrs. Fetcher's Economics Class. High School never was my strong subject anyways!
As far as the tax goes; I drive, you drive we all drive so keeping our roads in good repair might be a very good idea, ya think?
You mean it has more people that just moved to the State. What about the people who have lived on dirt roads for generations?
Bryant, I agree that socialism is a topic far removed from T-SPLOST, which in fact was the point I was trying to make. I don't know whether or not T-SPLOST is a good idea, and demonizing T-SPLOST by passionately but nonsensically linking it to every thing you don't like about America is not helpful!
I did, and was disappointed that he linked it to Obamacare (I was surprised you didn't do that, actually). If what he's writing is correct, then the problem is more with the original law pushed through by the legislature and signed by Gov. Deal. Voting no here, by itself, won't accomplish anything other than delaying the inevitable while putting a higher burden on local governments in the meantime.
So if you really think this is a bad idea, you need to put pressure on the Republican legislators and governor to get rid of or amend the original law. I would suggest toning down the irrational ranting, though, as I suspect that would make you easier to dismiss (just as I'm certain anything that I, as a Democrat, say would be dismissed automatically).
Ironside, regarding your 7/24 post re: "just moved to the state" vs dirt roads. What has that got to do with anything?
Watchpig, you're on target. Transportation infrastructure has to be maintained. IF we have insufficient funds we either forego necessary repair and maintenance (until a bridge collapses and kills someone) or we raise money to meet our needs.
I repeat, I am not in favor of the T-SPLOST as it is currently proposed. I am in favor of raising fuel taxes so that those who drive the most contribute the most to highway maintenance. Also, I still believe establishing high traffic corridors - i.e. i-95, i-75, I-85, I-20, I-16 and GA 400 - with higher fuel taxes within 1 - 5 miles of the corridor would be a boon to the economy. We would reap the benefits of those motorists simply passing through and, for commuter corridors like GA 400, encourage car pooling and mass transit.
I am iin favor of using an increased gas tax to pay for road repair. The existing gas tax is insufficient - hence the T-SPLOST proposal.