Georgia TSPLOST
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Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#1 Dec 7, 2011
Scheduled for July 2012 is a Referendum for another 1% sales tax for the voters of Georgia called a Tsplost.

This tax is known as a "Transportation Special Project Local Option Sales Tax" (TSPLOST).

The Georgia General Assembly and the Governor has passed this legislation for the voters to say YES or NO to add another 1% sales tax, making the TOTAL sales tax in Georgia 8 cents on the dollar.

This tax will be decided by the plurality of votes cast within each Region of the State. You can click on this link to see what Region your county is in.

http://www.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,209...

When you get to this site click on the Region where you live and it will show all the counties within your Region.

Several of the counties within your Region may vote NO and the others vote YES. The TOTAL vote count in the Region determines whether or not the Tsplost either passes or fails for your Region. ALL counties in the Region will collect the Tax even if your County's total vote said NO.

In essence this is a Special Region Option Tax, not a Local County Tax. It is a NEW venture by the State of Georgia to impose more taxes on the citizens of the State by letting the citizens vote themselves a tax increase.

I will be posting other comments on this tax in following posts and giving reference links to verify what I post.

I will be upfront with all readers of this thread and say, I am OPPOSED to this tax. I will be posting giving the reason why I am opposed and after what I post I believe you will also be opposed.
The only ones who may favor this Tax are Elected officials who want more money to spend.

If you read no other post than this one I ask you to:

VOTE NO TO TSPLOST IN JULY 2012.
Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#2 Dec 8, 2011

In this post I will show the differences between a large county and a small county.

I will use 2 Counties for comparison, neither one is in the same Region but for examples sake any 2 counties will do.

Dougherty County, Albany Ga. Region 10 and Located in South Ga.
Dougherty collected, for the month of Dec. 2010 from their 1% sales tax $1,282,480.83

Dougherty County has 165 miles of county maintained roads, an accurate number pulled from this Link below: Scroll down to your County.

Dougherty has 2.5% of county maintained roads in their Region.

http://www.dot.state.ga.us/statistics/RoadDat...

Dougherty has a population of 94,565 as of the 2010 Census, an accurate number pulled from this link below: Select your county and press Go.

Dougherty has 26.5% of the population in their Region.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13000...

The other county is Towns County, Hiawassee Ga., Region 2 and on the border with N.C.

Towns collected, for the month of Dec. 2010 from their 1% sales tax $154,035.19.

Towns County has 224 miles of county maintained roads, an accurate amount that can be verified using the above link.

Towns has 4.9% of county maintained roads in their Region.

Towns has a population of 10,471 as of the 2010 Census, an accurate number that can be verified by the above link.

Towns has 2.6% of the population in their Region.

I will in my next post show how these 2 counties will compare in relation to the disparity of this TSPLOST TAX.

VOTE NO TO TSPLOST IN JULY 2012.
Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#3 Dec 9, 2011

Some Regions may vote this tax in and other Regions may vote no and not have the Tax.

TSPLOST will collect 1 cent on the dollar for all sales in Georgia, including food, from all the Regions that vote the tax in.

The monies will be divided up as follows: Of the monies collected within a Region, 75% collected will go to the Georgia Department of Transporation (GDOT) and 25% will go to the counties in the Region to be SHARED based on the formulas as follows;

Each County within a Region will share 1/5 of the 25% based on the percentage of the County population. The other 4/5 share of the 25% will be based on County maintained road miles.

I will take a ficticuos Region with 13 counties and make Dougherty and Towns 2 of the counties. I call it Region A. Exceptions=all dollar and percentage figures
are accurate and pulled from the links in post #2 above.

From the previous post Towns County collects $1,848,422 a year in a 1% tax.
The State GDOT gets 75% of $1,848,422=$1,386,317.
Towns County shares with the rest of the Region 25%=$462,106.

Using the Formula above for the way that Counties share and the percentages from the previous post.
Towns share of the $462,106 X 2.6%=$12,014.76 by population %.
Towns share of the $462,106 X 4.9%=$22,643.19 by road mile %.

For a total share of $34,657.95 from paying in $1,848,422.

From the previous post Dougherty County collects $15,389,770 a year in a 1% tax.
The State GDOT gets 75% X $15,389,770 =$11,542,327.50
Dougherty shares with the rest of the Region 25%=$3,847,442.50

Doughertys share of $3,847,442.50 X 26.5%=$1,019,572.26 by population %.
Doughertys share of $3,847,442.50 X 2.5%=$96,186.06 by road miles %.
For a total share of $1,115,758.32 from paying in $15,389.770
Counties get the short end of the stick with this tax.

VOTE NO TO TSPLOST JULY 2012.
Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#4 Dec 9, 2011

This 1% sales tax is in addition to other 1% sales taxes Counties already have in place. This would be called the TSPLOST TAX.

Most Counties have a 1% ELOST TAX , a 1% SPLOST TAX, and a 1% LOST TAX.

The ELOST TAX is a special tax for Local School Systems to improve infrastructure within their County.
The State of Georgia through our General Assembly and Governor is asking the voters of all Georgia Counties to vote on a Transportation 1% sales tax called a TSPLOST tax in July 2012.

The SPLOST TAX is a special tax for Local County Government to improve infrastructure within their county.

The LOST TAX is a special tax to alleviate property taxes within their County, i.e. allows a reduction in the millage rate.

Now the State of Georgia wants voters to approve a 1% sales tax for roads and bridges and other infrastructure that falls under GDOT’s (Georgia Department of Transformation) purview.

This would bring to 4, the number of 1% sales taxes placed upon all Citizens of Georgia.

Counties using the SPLOST TAX get to keep all the monies collected from this tax to benefit the needs of their county. This tax CAN, and most often is, used to improve roads and bridges and other needs of the County.

Under the TSPLOST TAX rules, counties are only allowed to share 25% of the tax collected within their Region of Counties to be used within their respective counties. The other 75% goes to GDOT to use wherever the State decides there is a need for improvement. This is usually in heavily populated areas where there is heavy traffic patterns.

At best a County only gets back 30% of the money collected by this tax to be used by said county.

Our Counties have a SPLOST TAX we can use for improvement, and we keep 100% of it. We don’t need a TSPLOST tax for the GDOT to mis-manage.

This TSPLOST TAX is being put to the voters because our Elected Officials have FAILED in their duties to provide a Budget and make a decision on how best to spend our tax dollars and a failure to make a choice on how to increase the Revenue needed for Road and Bridge improvements.

We elected them to make these decisions on tax increases and Budget decisions and now they are spending untold Tens of Thousands on efforts to get this tax passed by the voters in July 2012 because they have failed to make decisions and now are attempting to shift the burden to the voters, and let the property owners guarantee the debt.

This is a BAD TAX for the citizens of Georgia. I say send our Legislators back to Atlanta to make a RIGHT decision and do what we pay them for, and that is to make hard decisions based on equality of taxation.

This tax hurts the poor the worse; there is NO food exemption for this tax.

VOTE NO JULY 2012 FOR TSPLOST.
Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#5 Dec 13, 2011

The main ISSUE about the Tsplost tax is as follows:

The Governor and the General Assembly are attempting
to change the time honored Georgia Constitution, whereas Counties are the local constituted Authorities for Governmental operations and pass that Authority to a Regional control.

Under this plan the larger populated counties will have power over the smaller populated counties to do as they see fit because the power of the individual vote is no longer in the Cities and Counties but Region wide.

This goes against everything the State of Georgia has stood for since it's existence.

I would think that every local County and City elected official would be up in arms over this grab for power by the State to concentrate power to the Regions.

This is a call to arms to everyone who wants to maintain City and County integrity within our respected communities to contact their elected State officials and voice their displeasure.

The General Assembly will convene in January and if the voters contact them and rebel against this attempt at taking away County and City home Rule and passing it to Region control there may be time to save our communities.

VOTE NO TO TSPLOST JULY 2012
Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#6 Dec 13, 2011



You may be asking what I am talking.

What I am talking about is City and County Home Rule which has always been the way that local communities have operated.

With this Tsplost vote that Home Rule will be eliminated and given to Regional Rule. The power of the larger Counties will Rule over the smaller Counties.

It's time to speak up folks!!!

You can start by calling your State elected officials and go to the Jan 23 Town Hall meeting on Tsplost and speak up!!

VOTE NO TO TSPLOST 2012

Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#7 Dec 14, 2011

A 1% increase in optional sales tax is equal to this: A 25% increase in taxes paid out.

Here's the logic behind my statement.

Say you spend $20,000, taxes at present for optional sales taxes are 3%, that would be $600. A 1% increase would be another $200 making the total $800.

Simple math tells us that is a 25% increase in taxes that everyone would have to pay out.

The Devil is always in the details.
Mike

Dawsonville, GA

#8 Dec 14, 2011

A 1% increase in optional sales tax is equal to this: A 25% increase in taxes paid out.

Here's the logic behind my statement.

Say you spend $20,000; taxes at present for optional sales taxes are 3% that would be $600. A 1% increase would be another $200 making the total $800.

Simple math tells us this is a 25% increase in taxes that everyone would have to pay out.

The Devil is always in the details.
The poor and dis-advantaged would be hurt the worst. This is a regressive
Tax against the poor in each county and also a dis-advantage against the
Smaller Counties.

And here is another concern everyone should consider.
The main ISSUE about the Tsplost tax is as follows:

The Governor and the General Assembly are attempting
to change the time honored Georgia Constitution, whereas Counties are the local constituted Authorities for Governmental operations and pass that Authority to a Regional control.

Under this plan the larger populated counties will have power over the smaller populated counties to do as they see fit because the power of the individual vote is no longer in the Cities and Counties but Region wide.

This goes against everything the State of Georgia has stood for since its existence.

I would think that every local County and City elected official would be up in arms over this grab for power by the State to concentrate power to the Regions.

This is a call to arms to everyone who wants to maintain City and County integrity within our respected communities to contact their elected State officials and voice their displeasure.

The General Assembly will convene in January and if the voters contact them and rebel against this attempt at taking away County and City home Rule and passing it to Region control there may be time to save our communities.


VOTE NO TO TSPLOST 2012
Mike

Jefferson, GA

#9 Jan 2, 2012
The main ISSUE about the Tsplost tax is as follows and should be of concern to everyone in Georgia:

The Governor and the General Assembly are attempting to change the time honored Georgia Constitution, whereas Counties are the local constituted Authorities for Governmental operations, and pass that Authority to a Regional Roundtable.

We have Cities, Counties, and State elected officials; now the General Assembly and the Governor want to add another layer of government, not elected, called the Regional Roundtable.

Under this plan the larger populated counties will have power over the smaller populated counties to do as they see fit because the power of the individual vote is no longer in the Cities and Counties but on a Region wide level.
This goes against everything the State of Georgia has stood for since its existence.

This Tsplost vote is about MORE than a 1% sales tax; it is about a FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE of Government in Georgia, and this without elected representatives. It is a shift to another layer of government with expenses which Georgia does not need. If this Tsplost tax passes this will lend credibility to the Regional Roundtables and more control of local governments will be forthcoming through the Region level. County Commissioners will be needed only to pass along what the Regional Roundtables decide. I can foresee if this prevails there will be no need for county Commissioners, only county Managers.

It is driven by GDOT’s desire not to have to deal with all 159 Counties individually but on a Regional level and the State also sees it as an opportunity to use it as a buffer in dealing with Counties. While dealing with the counties on a Regional level for transportation makes sense for planning and implementation of plans, giving authority to a non-elected Roundtable for taxation purposes is against everything Citizens of Georgia have lived under since the inception of the State, and that is County Home Rule.

I am saddened that our elected officials would even consider such an idea without the approval of the voters in each County, with each Counties vote being legal. Either there should be a State wide vote, as normal, on this tax; or they should go back and do the job they were elected to do. If they want to try and create a layer of government called a Regional Roundtable, put it to the voters on a State wide ballot and change the State Constitution. And since the vote on the 1% tax is a plurality of the Region voters, the Region Roundtable members should be voted in by a plurality of the voters in the Region if such a State wide ballot should pass.

The State is creating another layer of government and concentrate power to non-elected Regional Roundtables without voter approval. By doing so the Roundtables supplant local government.

This is an attempt at Taxation without representation, NOT GIVEN by the people. The way the process is now set for a Region vote; the individual counties vote has been diluted and negated by the larger populated counties in the Region.

The Governor and the General Assembly are responsible for this decision. Major changes like adding another layer of Government should be voted on by the people who give power to the State. It should NOT be mandated by the Government itself. We live in a Democracy and should not give away our right to vote so easily.

The State Constitution does NOT give powers to the Regions because they are NOT a Municipal Corporation; Counties, Cities, Towns, and Boards of Education. are the only Municipal Corporations we have in the State.

The General Assembly will convene in January and if the voters contact them and rebel against this attempt at taking away County and City home Rule and passing it to a non-elected Region control there may be time yet to save our communities. I am against County home rule being given to a non-elected Roundtable.

I will vote for governmental power to remain local by voting NO to Tsplost July 2012.
Mike

Jefferson, GA

#10 Jan 2, 2012
The problem I have, as stated above, is an unelected Regional Roundtable.

Having said the above I again state, a Region Roundtable as it exists is an unelected Commission, Commissioners, Authority, Roundtable, Board, or anything else one might want to name it.

GDOT planning on a Regional level on how to allocate funds, projects, and coordinating those projects make good sense; having taxing powers based on a plurality of the voters in the Region does not make good sense because it has not been established beforehand as a voting block or group.

So how does the State come up with the idea and passage of legislation to create taxing power with a newly formed voting procedure without voter approval. To me the State has made a bad decision without voter approval Statewide on this issue of Region wide plurality voting. What will be next? Under City, County, and State we have Constitutional rule, under Regional we have something that sounds like it might come from China or Russia.

I will try again to explain my points that a Region is made up by a vastly different group and number of voters who heretofore voted on a City, County, or
State level. The State has taxation powers; the Counties have taxation powers and also the Cities. All three of the preceding are Municipal Corporations under the Charter of the State of Georgia to abide by certain rules with certain taxation powers. A Region is not a Municipal Corporation, but the State of Georgia in conjunction with the Counties of the State are creating another layer of government with taxing powers based on a plurality of voter count in a Region (which is not a Chartered Municipality); and not a chartered form of government such as City, County, or State wherein voters are determined by the boundaries they live in, whether City, county, or State. So in reality this is another layer of government being imposed on the people without duly elected Representatives voted on by the people.

As it is formed now I have people representing me from all the other 12 counties in the Region. I didn't vote for them, I don't know them and I sure as heck don't want to give them taxing powers when they don't have to play by the same rules as Cities and Counties.

And I'm saying if the State of Georgia and the Counties want to do this, put it on the ballot and let the people vote Statewide.

And those on the Regional Roundtables were elected to their respective City or County to serve their respective City or County. They were not elected to the Region Roundtable by the populace of the Region, they were selected.

To me the 1% tax is not so much the issue, the issue is another level of Government where the Governor and the General Assembly has put the Cart before the Horse and have left the voters out of the equation of forming another layer of Government. I will vote NO; not to the tax, but to an unelected Regional Roundtable.

Mike Sims
Marc T

Stockbridge, GA

#11 Jan 24, 2012
I don't understand why we are being asked to accept an additional tax when there is no proposal specifically to fund. Should government recommend a plan first then find a way to fund it; not raise taxes and then figure out a way to spend it. I would appreciate your comments.
Mike wrote:
Scheduled for July 2012 is a Referendum for another 1% sales tax for the voters of Georgia called a Tsplost.
This tax is known as a "Transportation Special Project Local Option Sales Tax" (TSPLOST).
The Georgia General Assembly and the Governor has passed this legislation for the voters to say YES or NO to add another 1% sales tax, making the TOTAL sales tax in Georgia 8 cents on the dollar.
This tax will be decided by the plurality of votes cast within each Region of the State. You can click on this link to see what Region your county is in.
http://www.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,209...
When you get to this site click on the Region where you live and it will show all the counties within your Region.
Several of the counties within your Region may vote NO and the others vote YES. The TOTAL vote count in the Region determines whether or not the Tsplost either passes or fails for your Region. ALL counties in the Region will collect the Tax even if your County's total vote said NO.
In essence this is a Special Region Option Tax, not a Local County Tax. It is a NEW venture by the State of Georgia to impose more taxes on the citizens of the State by letting the citizens vote themselves a tax increase.
I will be posting other comments on this tax in following posts and giving reference links to verify what I post.
I will be upfront with all readers of this thread and say, I am OPPOSED to this tax. I will be posting giving the reason why I am opposed and after what I post I believe you will also be opposed.
The only ones who may favor this Tax are Elected officials who want more money to spend.
If you read no other post than this one I ask you to:
VOTE NO TO TSPLOST IN JULY 2012.
Mike

Perry, GA

#12 Jan 27, 2012
Marc T wrote:
I don't understand why we are being asked to accept an additional tax when there is no proposal specifically to fund. Should government recommend a plan first then find a way to fund it; not raise taxes and then figure out a way to spend it. I would appreciate your comments.
<quoted text>
Sorry for the delay-

I agree with you but a vote by the public is not guaranteed but they have gerrymandered the vote to have a better chance of passage. The gerrymandering is based on a Region vote.

The wait and see by GDOT is because they don't know whether or not the tax will pass Statewide. It may pass in some regions and fail in others, hence the uncertainty in projects.

The regions do have a to-do list of projects approved but those also are on the back burner awaiting the funds. Some of these projects will be done, others abandoned as monies may not become available.

It is the worst way to run transportation funding.
Mike

Perry, GA

#13 Jan 27, 2012
In regards to Home rule of Counties:

A quote straight out of the STATEWIDE STRATEGIC TRANSPORTATION PLAN 2010-2030, page 6.

""People mobility in rest of state.
People mobility in rural areas and medium-sized cities is well supported by the current network.""

What this means is there will be little or no funds available from the 75% for smaller counties in the State until late in the Ten year cycle, if there are any funds left at all, because “rural areas and medium-sized cities are well supported by the current network .” Also medium size projects (2016-2019) to large projects (2020-2022) are slated to be toward the end of the ten year cycle. Smaller projects are slated for 2013-2015. To be fair some large projects will start earlier but the vast majority is slated to be toward the end of the 10 year tax.

Smaller county projects throughout the Region to begin with, then cycling up to larger projects later in the 10 year cycle. Folks, this means there is another 10 year tax in the works beginning 2023 to finish projects started 2020. This sounds to me like a permanent tax by proxy. The plan itself says 2010-2030.

So let’s look at some of those “what I call small projects.” Intersection improvements, Hanger doors at a small Airport, Rehabilitate Air Carrier and General Aviation Aprons, Sidewalks, etc. and yet Airport fuels are exempt from the tax. Taxpayers are tired of funding special interest.

So this TSPLOST is setup for the benefit of Metro areas with a large part of the funds coming from smaller counties.

For example, in my Region 2 we have 2 counties out of 13 that make up 57% of the Region-wide population. They also make up approx. 56% of a 1% sales tax. They will also receive the bulk of the projects and along with 2 other counties will receive more than 65% of the projects done with the 75% due back to the Regions.

This is a good deal for the 2 counties with 57% of the population and their vote carries which way the Region will vote. It’s not a good deal for the other 11 counties as we will be the ones who subsidize their projects.

The counties receiving most of the 75% adjoin the major Metro areas in their respective Region.

Again,“People mobility in rural areas and medium-sized cities is well supported by the current network." Smaller and out of the way counties get very little for such a huge burden placed on their citizens by a 1% TSPLOST tax.

Counties jeopardize their 100% Splost tax for a percentage from a Tsplost tax. The taxpayers are tired of taxes, particularly in this economy, and if there is a backlash against taxes the splost will go first because the county voters control it, not the Region voters. If that backlash occurs the voters may decide more than one of the optional taxes may need to be stopped.

This can the State has kicked down to the Regions is a mess of porridge; the Regions need to kick it back to the State.
The old crutch it’s only a penny won’t wash anymore.

VOTE NO TO TSPLOST JULY 2012
Mike Sims
Blairsville, Ga.
Mike

Perry, GA

#14 Jan 27, 2012
The below is reflective of the State as a whole; and all the Regions will have similar high and low percentages and dollar amounts.

The larger counties with the highest 1% SPLOST tax collection will have the most to lose when people turn sour on taxes, and they will.

I live in Region 2 which is why I use it as an example.

% coll/vs/rec
46.20%
39.43%
49%
32%
34.69%
36.66%
60.65%
47.54%
37.13%
18.28%
17.11%
12.78%
48.15%



The percentages above are accurate for my Region.(There is less than a 1% error in the percentages quoted.)

The numbers above reflect the actual percentage amount the 13 counties in my region will receive from the 25% share based on the 1/5 and 4/5 formulas in RELATION to the amount each county would collect on a 1% SPLOST tax within their respective county. You notice it ranges from a low of 12.78% to a high of 60.65%.
My county is the 48.15%. The percentages are based on the 2010 Census, the latest road mile chart from the State of Georgia and the dollar amount the State reimbursed the individual counties on a 1% Splost tax for year 2010.

To make it simple, my county would receive 48.15% of the actual amount of a 1% tax collected in my county.

I will use my county as an example to explain the above percentages. My County was reimbursed $3,231,771 by the State of Georgia for our 2010 splost tax. Under the TSPLOST rules my County’s share of the 25% would be $1,556,368.

For the sake of an example, I will assume tax collections will not change for the 10 year period; and if they did change the 1/5 and 4/5 formulas will remain the same.

For the 10 year cycle under the TSPLOST my county would collect $15,563,680 as our share of the 25%.

Under our SPLOST for a 6 year period we collect $19,390,626. Now if the Splost is renewed for another 4 years, for a total of 10, in order to match the 10 year TSPLOST period for comparison purpose, we can add another 4 years of SPLOST collections which equal $12,927,084 plus the first 6 years for a total of $32,317,710 as opposed to a Tsplost collection of $15,563,680.

Now let’s do the same for one of the larger counties. The one that gets the 12.78%. This county’s share from the 25% that is shared with the other counties will be $3,511,270 a year for 10 years for a total of $35,112,700. They collected during the same one year period a total of $27,464,179 on a 1% Splost tax, for a total of $274,641,790 for the same 10 year period.

Now why would a county jeopardize their 1% SPLOST tax to a voter backlash and take a chance of losing so much for so little? And the reason I ask is because that county may have to give up its Splost tax because people are over- burdened with taxes and are ready to vote them down

The county getting the 60.65% share might think it’s worth taking a chance with the voters, but if I lived in the county that gets the 12.78% share I would think long and hard before I would jeopardize a 100% SPLOST tax.

County’s collect less in the long run with a TSPLOST than they do with a SPLOST.

So when the people get tired of taxes, and believe me they are tired of them; which one do you think they will do away with, I’m guessing the SPLOST because it will come up next for a vote in all counties if this TSPLOST passes.

Which one of these taxes is better for your County? Because I believe it will come down to that question.

Voters are going to realize a property millage rate increase is not as bad as a 1% tax and when they do, goodbye SPLOST.

So if the TSPLOST passes and the local SPLOST fails, the counties will get by with less money. Look again at the percentages at the top of this email and guess which County you live in.

Regards,
Mike Sims
Mike

Perry, GA

#15 Jan 27, 2012
In regards to TSPLOST.

I understand the needs of Transportation in the State and that counties need every penny they can get but I think the General Assembly and the Governor has taken the easy road of trying to get passed a 1% TSPLOST tax and instead should tackle some of the possibilities below.

As of 2004 Georgia had the lowest Fuel and Vehicle Taxes as a Percent of
Total State Highway Funding in the Country.

Motor fuel taxes can stand an increase, as Georgia ranks 50th in excise tax in the Nation at 7.5 cents per gallon, and yet we pay basically the same price at the pump. A few pennies difference here and there between States but the same differences we find town to town within our state. Price volatility will affect the sales tax receipts but not the excise tax which is based on gallons sold. Georgia also ranks 48th overall in lowest gas taxes. Raise the excise tax.

Toll roads offer one of the best solutions for transportation revenue but our Governor has backed away from that because he wants to get re-elected.

The trucking industry, which causes most of the road damage, is another source; they can pay their fair share.

Making the transit systems break even or profitable is a solution.

Container fees and custom duties at ports of entry for ports improvement.

A Local option motor fuel tax for the counties or a State option tax for GDOT on motor fuels only.

A rental car surcharge for Transportation needs.

Transit fees.

And I'm sure our legislators can come up with some other ideas, after all that is why we send them to Atlanta. We did not send them there to destroy county Home rule.

One of the questions is; who will the State subsidize in taxes collected by offloading those taxes to another segment, like a 1% optional sales tax.

Vote NO to Tsplost

Mike Sims
Blairsville, Ga.
Mike

Perry, GA

#16 Jan 27, 2012
The State has got the cart before the horse. If not for this, I would have no comments on this tax.

I will say again there are 2 issues with this tsplost vote. The first one is about a region vote itself involving anything; and the second issue is about the 1% tax itself.

I will respond first to the issue and concept of a region vote. I will give a little background on the creation of the Regions. They were created by Governor Carter back in the 70’s for Social Services delivery, specifically county health services, and have added region Development Commissions among other things. It was not setup as a political region, district, or anything political or taxable such as a voting district or precinct. The whole purpose of the regions is to help the State facilitate and administer different State programs, not create them. By this tsplost vote the State is attempting to create a voting district without voter input and also with no similar rules such as cities and counties have, and nothing to support such a voting bloc in the State Constitution. So I will continue to express my views on this subject because I believe it is a more important issue than a 1% tax.

In regards to the argument that voting is already unbalanced when we vote for different elected officials, whether State reps or Federal reps, a person may overlook one of the purposes of the Census every 10 years and that is a balancing of the population within those voting districts for fairness in our representation. If you remember we just had another re-districting for that purpose. The 12 regions Carter created are static and, with population growth in the State, have become unbalanced in regards to population within the Regions. Now I realize each voting district cannot be properly equal in population but an effort is made every 10 years to try and create a balance. We do not have that within each Region.

The Governor and the General Assembly are avoiding the duties we elected them to do, and that is to make the hard decisions necessary to run our State government. I think a big motivator of a region sales tax had to do with the mismanagement at GDOT several years ago and the need of GDOT to have revenue to perform their duties; and the State sees this tsplost tax as a way out of it, both politically and financially. Also they have taken the easy road by calling for a vote instead of facing up to special interest. One of my fears is our State officials are well known for passing a revenue generator for specific endeavors or projects; then siphon off funds later for other projects or expenses.

I don’t expect you and me to agree 100%, as no one agrees 100%. I also recognize there are different ideas on how to raise taxes for projects and also ideas on how to lower taxes. I do have strong beliefs about how government should be run; and that is elected officials being open and responsive to those who put them in office.

I also have strong feelings about Home rule and the rule of Law elected officials are required to abide by; and I feel the State of Georgia is making an end run around the State Constitution for political expediency. As I have mentioned in past emails, our State Constitution covers Cities and Counties. It does not cover Regions.

Again, as far as the Region route of voting on this tax is concerned, I will say the State needs to have a referendum on a Constitutional amendment to make the Regions autonomous, abiding by the same rules and laws as cities and counties, and to make it a voting district with fair, and as much as possible, with equality in population.

continued........

Mike

Perry, GA

#17 Jan 27, 2012
continued....
Passage of rules, regulations, and laws are the responsibility of the State. Those rules, regulations, and laws that may affect one county and not another county is based on several factors, not the least of which is environmental and usually mandated either by the Feds or the courts. These instances of Georgia and the Feds telling the counties and States what to do are an entirely different matter than what I have been emailing out about county Home rule and the laws cities and counties must abide by as compared to regions.

And one of the reasons I am expressing such is this; Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) who has deposited House Bill 682 in the pre-filing hopper. His bill “would allow counties to petition their local legislative delegation to make the office of county commissioner, along with other county-wide elected offices, non-partisan.”
Our country is built on political parties representing different viewpoints and different philosophies of governing. Any attempt to change such is an attempt at changing the fabric of our State. Voters make distinctions based on certain proclaimed viewpoints and philosophies expressed by the parties and those running for office. To eliminate political affiliations by candidates is a blow to Democracy. Political parties are about different ideas on how to govern a Country or State and should remain intact. To do otherwise is to invite government appointed officials to run the different levels of government and we know what we call those forms of governments in other countries. In our country we call them bureaucrats and while necessary, are also unelected and unresponsive in too many cases.

I will now address the 2nd issue and that is the 1% tax itself

The 48.92% return my county gets from our share of the 25% is less than half of what we collect with a 1% tax. Correct me if I am wrong but the splost tax will cover roads and bridges, intersection improvement, widening of roads, basically anything having to do with roads. My county would collect over a 10 year period about $33 mil with a splost tax while only collecting approx.$16 mil with a tsplost tax, less than half what we collect with splost. In one county their share return is 3.8% with a tsplost tax; that county with a splost would bring in a little over 2600% more than they would get from their share of a tsplost tax over a 1 year period. Yes, the number is 2600%. They collected $19,826,285 and they receive from the 25% share $752,807.

One of the points I made in an earlier email about splost and Tsplost is which one is a county willing to give up? For my county, a 100% return on splost or a 48.92% return on a tsplost. I’m not of the opinion that passage of the sales tax is crucial to transportation needs at this time; there is no rush to get a tax if the people are against it and the tax is not fair, which it is NOT. I do agree there is a need for transportation funds and one of my past emails sent out show some of my suggestions on how to get that revenue. Now as to whether the General Assembly can come to some kind of agreement on increased revenue, we will find out if this tax is defeated. I don’t think anyone knows which way the vote is going to go but like other citizens, I can voice my opinions about the tax. Also I can tell you this; local AARP chapters are really upset about food not being exempt. I have spoken to a few of their leaders and the General Assembly members will be hearing from them this session. To exempt gas and diesel and to include food on this tax is a dis-service to the citizens of Georgia. Those least able to pay are the very ones hurt the worst. To me this one item alone is a reason to vote everyone out of office.

continued..........
Mike

Perry, GA

#18 Jan 27, 2012
continued...

And if the Governor and the General Assembly has decided it’s this tsplost tax or nothing, I will vote for nothing until the State gets a constitutional amendment passed in regards to a Region vote. Also I will petition my representatives to seek other revenue options. For Georgia to be the first State in the Union to pass a 1% sales tax for transportation use is not what I consider ground breaking news, just the opposite, it is a huge tax increase on every individual in the State and designed to protect special interest. We decry the same when we see it in Washington and some expect us to approve in our own back yard?

A 1% sales tax we are told will generate 16-18 billion over a 10 year period Statewide. With the low income and poor making up close to 50% of the population in America,(that’s 150 million Americans) as reported in the news recently, those same low income and poor will suffer the most with a 1% tax while those who tear up our roads with heavy use are subsidized by many who don’t drive, have limited income, and will be hurt the worst with this tax.

Now I would rather transportation suffer than those who can least afford another tax burden be place on them. I am not opposed to funding transportation, I am opposed to those who are the users and those who do the most damage to the infrastructure and are not expected to pay their fair share. Most taxes and fees are user taxes and fees. The user pays most of the cost, but not with public transportation such as rail, buses, shuttles, etc. These users make up approx. 5% of commuters and eat up close to 50% of transportation funds in metro areas. Many are totally dependent on taxes to continue to operate.

I see both sides of the issue; counties want the money as does GDOT, and both can use it for improvements. I just cannot agree this is the way to go for reasons stated above. As for facts, confirmation on what I have been emailing is supported by what is in the state Constitution, data provided by the census, data provided by GDOT on county road miles, and data provided by the Georgia Dept. of Revenue on 1% splost distributions to counties. Facts are important and all sides of the 2 issues involved should be discussed with the voters in your counties. My hope is county officials will do so when they see the 2 issues involved in this vote.

In conclusion, we are facing 2 separate issues. A 1% tax and a Region vote not sanctioned by the State Constitution we live by.

And for the reasons above and Home rule, Vote NO to Tsplost 2012


Mike Sims
Blairsville, Ga.

Mike

Perry, GA

#19 Jan 27, 2012
This should be post #17

continued..........
Passage of rules, regulations, and laws are the responsibility of the State. Those rules, regulations, and laws that may affect one county and not another county is based on several factors, not the least of which is environmental and usually mandated either by the Feds or the courts. These instances of Georgia and the Feds telling the counties and States what to do are an entirely different matter than what I have been emailing out about county Home rule and the laws cities and counties must abide by as compared to regions.

And one of the reasons I am expressing such is this; Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) who has deposited House Bill 682 in the pre-filing hopper. His bill “would allow counties to petition their local legislative delegation to make the office of county commissioner, along with other county-wide elected offices, non-partisan.”
Our country is built on political parties representing different viewpoints and different philosophies of governing. Any attempt to change such is an attempt at changing the fabric of our State. Voters make distinctions based on certain proclaimed viewpoints and philosophies expressed by the parties and those running for office. To eliminate political affiliations by candidates is a blow to Democracy. Political parties are about different ideas on how to govern a Country or State and should remain intact. To do otherwise is to invite government appointed officials to run the different levels of government and we know what we call those forms of governments in other countries. In our country we call them bureaucrats and while necessary, are also unelected and unresponsive in too many cases.

I will now address the 2nd issue and that is the 1% tax itself

The 48.92% return my county gets from our share of the 25% is less than half of what we collect with a 1% tax. Correct me if I am wrong but the splost tax will cover roads and bridges, intersection improvement, widening of roads, basically anything having to do with roads. My county would collect over a 10 year period about $33 mil with a splost tax while only collecting approx.$16 mil with a tsplost tax, less than half what we collect with splost. In one county their share return is 3.8% with a tsplost tax; that county with a splost would bring in a little over 2600% more than they would get from their share of a tsplost tax over a 1 year period. Yes, the number is 2600%. They collected $19,826,285 and they receive from the 25% share $752,807.

One of the points I made in an earlier email about splost and Tsplost is which one is a county willing to give up? For my county, a 100% return on splost or a 48.92% return on a tsplost. I’m not of the opinion that passage of the sales tax is crucial to transportation needs at this time; there is no rush to get a tax if the people are against it and the tax is not fair, which it is NOT. I do agree there is a need for transportation funds and one of my past emails sent out show some of my suggestions on how to get that revenue. Now as to whether the General Assembly can come to some kind of agreement on increased revenue, we will find out if this tax is defeated. I don’t think anyone knows which way the vote is going to go but like other citizens, I can voice my opinions about the tax. Also I can tell you this; local AARP chapters are really upset about food not being exempt. I have spoken to a few of their leaders and the General Assembly members will be hearing from them this session. To exempt gas and diesel and to include food on this tax is a dis-service to the citizens of Georgia. Those least able to pay are the very ones hurt the worst. To me this one item alone is a reason to vote everyone out of office.


continued.......
Mike

Perry, GA

#20 Jan 27, 2012
sorry about the duplicate post #17.

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