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Johnson encourages voters to approve transportation tax

Hank Johnson

Hank Johnson

Congressman Hank Johnson has endorsed an upcoming transportation tax, which is on ballots in July.

The Democrat, whose district includes portions of Gwinnett, as well as DeKalb and Rockdale counties, said Friday he will vote for the 1-percent sales tax because he believes the region would "miss an historic opportunity" without it.

"This referendum represents our best hope of relieving congestion in metropolitan Atlanta. We must act now to address our traffic problems throughout our region and further delay will only compound our problems," Johnson said in a press release.

While the former DeKalb commission said he shares frustrations that south DeKalb has not received "its fair share" of improvement, he said the $8 billion the tax is expected to bring in in 10 years will do a lot to boost economic development and job creation.

He also gave kudos to a few key projects, including $225 million set aside for MARTA service in the I-20 East corridor

"Passage of this referendum will increase the transportation options throughout the region," he said.

Last week, the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance vowed to fight for the referendum's defeat, while other business and community leaders have formed a campaign to support the tax.

Woodall wants long-term solution to student loans

Meanwhile, Washington colleague Rob Woodall explained that he "reluctantly" voted against the Interest Rate Reduction Act because it does little to address the underlying problems of student loans.

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Rep. Rob Woodall, Republican congressman from Georgia's 7th District

"Instead, the bill pushes these hard decisions down the road one more year," Woodall, a Republican from Lawrenceville, said.

He said a GOP committee is leading work on a long-term fix, but the "sideshow of presidential politics has intervened."

"I look forward to seeing the House get back on track and proposing long term solutions," the congressman said. "With total student loan debt over $1 trillion dollars, higher than total credit card debt for the first time in U.S. history, we need real solutions for our students, not the president's election year pandering. And while I agree that the ObamaCare Slush Fund for the Secretary of Health and Human Services should be eliminated, I'd rather it go toward deficit reduction than taking it from one federal pocket and putting it in another.

"Every dollar of our nation's debt is another loan that students today will have to pay off in the future, and that is a far greater burden on their prosperity than the interest from their student loans," he added.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/local/politics.

Comments

JohnGalt 2 years, 6 months ago

Johnson endorses it? LOL, that just cracks me up. His endorsement alone is reason enough to vote against it. Hey Hank, can you give us all an update on the island of Guam? Has it tipped over yet?

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R 2 years, 6 months ago

I bet ol Bucky and Nash are just THRILLED to be on the same side with this fine example of wisdom...

I don't think we'll tip over if it fails though...

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BenDover 2 years, 6 months ago

Voters need to hit the booth this July and vote this down. When will the taxes ever be reduced? Yep, NEVER...... Johnson, has no clue on what's going on, and thinks he can make a comment and people will listen?

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NorcrossDot 2 years, 6 months ago

JohnGalt and R. I totally agree. Living in Johnson's Gwinnett portion I have not had representation in the House for many, many years. Wasn't going to vote for it anyway - reason You don't continue to give money to those that have proven they don't represent what the people want. You cut them off, then vote them out. However, his endorsement just gives me another reason not to vote for for another tax increase.

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BuzzG 2 years, 6 months ago

Goofy Hank Johnson has declared he is worried about the island of Guam tipping over.

This is the same Hank Johnson who never saw a tax or government spending program he did not love.

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RiggaTony 2 years, 6 months ago

I am tired of the socialist / communist descent this nation has succumbed to. I say no taxes for anything. Let the private sector take care of roads and transportation.

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Mack711 2 years, 6 months ago

What he is saying is that we, in Gwinnett and the other counties, need to give more to South Dekalb residents. Why should we? That is the question. If a tax is collected in Gwinnett it should be spent in Gwinnett.until that happens we should vote NO. If the tax is spent in Gwinnett it will probably be used to open another HOT lane for Evans and the gang that want to keep jobs for themselves.

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 6 months ago

Hank Johnson only represents one group of people. Still a big NO from me.

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Erk 2 years, 6 months ago

I think this idea for a tax for transportation relief hit it's apex for support when they opened up the toll lanes in Gwinnett and DeKalb on I-85. If this is how they plan on "wisely" spending our tax dollars, I think the vote of NO is a vote of "no confidence" for our planners.

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citized 2 years, 6 months ago

I take it he made the comments while watching a Gwinnett Braves game from a "sky" box? Part of his perks???

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

The biggest problem with this proposed T-SPLOST is a supposed poison pill that was quietly slipped into the legislation that triples the cost of road construction projects if the tax is voted down in July.

I've been hearing from people in and close to state government that there is a penalty of basically what amounts to a 200% tax on all road projects in the 10-county region after the tax is voted down as every local municipality will supposedly have to spend two dollars on regionwide transit for every dollar they spend on local roads.

This thing is nothing more than a big dog-and-pony show that they are purposely orchestrating as a huge distraction for the coming big tax increase.

They don't want the one-percent sales tax increase to pass, they want the 200% tax increase on road projects that automatically kicks in after it fails.

They always intended for the T-SPLOST to fail because there is likely a lot more money in it for them on the back-end after it is voted down.

If what I am hearing is true then I'm afraid we've already been had as this thing was rigged from the beginning for one great big tax increase.

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jjbod1 2 years, 6 months ago

I think your full of BS, and have contractor ties that will make you richer if this tax goes through, so now you going to use scare tactics o to to get us to vote the other way, not going to happen ; )

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

No BS, my friend. No need to kill the messenger as some of the top big-wigs in state government are as deep in the pockets of trainbuilders as they are roadbuilders.

Remember the $17,000 family trip to Europe that Georgia House Speaker David Ralston took that was paid for by a German trainmaker lobbying for the high-speed rail between Atlanta and Chattanooga:

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

Here's another link to an opinion piece about Ralston's lobbyist-funded trip to Europe to ride German trains that appeared right here in the Gwinnett Daily Post back in February: http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news...

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JohnGalt 2 years, 6 months ago

ACC12_SEC13Booster, do you have a source for this information?

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

As of right now, unfortunately right now I do not, but I have been hearing this out in the wash for some time and I just heard it again this week.

I will do want I can to find one for you all, but if this is indeed true then this all makes since that the entire campaign for the T-SPLOST is nothing more than a smokescreen for a huge tax increase that has already been baked in the cake regardless of which way this farcical vote goes in July.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 6 months ago

I will say that I knew that something was up when the Sierra Club environmentalists came out against the tax with the Tea Party.

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pcjohn 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you for the info. I hope you will continue you efforts.

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Ashley 2 years, 6 months ago

Hank Johnson favors another tax? I did not see that one coming.

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kevin 2 years, 6 months ago

Hank only has a Washington job because of his home address. Out he goes real soon. This transportation tax is the biggest joke I have ever seen. The politicians are too scared to vote on their own so they expect us to vote ourselves a 10yr 1% tax. It won't be long before our sales tax hits 10% like other "undeveloped" cities and states in this country.

The only good thing about it, and I say this with a big laugh, is that everyone who buys anything will have to pay this 1% tax, even the illegals and welfare people, who could probably care less about roads. I'd still rather see the DOT handle it with State taxes but no politicians wants to be associated with this tax increase.

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kevin 2 years, 6 months ago

Just make sure all you nay sayers go out and vote against it and don't sit home and do nothing. Then it will pass.

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kevin 2 years, 6 months ago

Most of the projects are in his district. Why wouldn't he promote this tax on ourselves.

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rco1847 2 years, 3 months ago

Johnson and Woodall and both in favor of another tax. VOTE NO on SPLOST and also demand an end to EZ Pass which is another tax to use the lanes we already paid for. Tax and spend tax and spend these elected officials are INSANE!

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