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Congressional leader sounds off on T-SPLOST

ATLANTA -- While Atlanta business leaders were counting down the days to the upcoming July 31 referendum on a proposed transportation sales tax, U.S. House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica said he's still celebrating his victory a week ago, with the signing of the first new transportation law in years.

"This should be a celebration," said Mica, a Florida congressman who traveled to Georgia to address members of the Council for Quality Growth as they prepare for the tax vote.

The new federal law, he said, gives a few years of stability to transportation funding at the national level, for the first time in a long time.

The measure, which he wrote, also opens up new financing models and streamlines federal processes for state and local governments prepared to match federal dollars.

If the Atlanta region passes the proposed 1 percent sales tax, which could provide $8.5 billion in funding over the next decade, Mica said the new law will allow the state to partner with the federal government to leverage more dollars.

"I know it's tough," he said of the campaign for the tax. But he compared it to his own work on the bill, as a Republican dealing with a Democrat-controlled Senate and White House. The passage, he said, was like "giving birth to a porcupine."

"My mission was to get people working and get the legislation passed," he said.

Mica did not offer advice for voters, many of whom have objected to the tax and the project list it would support.

"I didn't come here to tell you what to do," he said. "The citizens of this region will make a decision."

But without the tax, he said, leaders would have a hard time taking advantage of the new federal funding.

"This bill is a revolution as far as providing an opportunity," he said. "If you aren't ready, (the money) will go someplace else. If you don't want Atlanta stuck in neutral, if you don't want Atlanta and this region going in reverse, you need to go forward."

The message was not lost on Tad Leithead, a business who is chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission board.

"The federal government helps those that help themselves," he said. "We heard that loud and clear just now."

Comments

Don 2 years, 11 months ago

I vote we do like Florida and stick it to the visitors by way of hotel and rentla car taxes. Look at what is paid by the tourist there.

How much money did GA send back for not using it on roads this past year?

We had to bring someone from Florida to tell us about traffic? Ever been in rush hour in Miami/Fort Lauderdale or Jacksonvill or Orlando? We are not near as bad as that.

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JohnGalt 2 years, 11 months ago

"...The federal government helps those that help themselves..."? What a joke! LOL! The only thing the federal government does is attach strings with consequences to anything they offer us. Don't believe it? Just take a good long hard look at the HOT lane we are now forced to live with without so much as any vote on it!

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R 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't know, the mental image he gave of "giving birth to a porcupine" in a discussion about TSPLOST seems rather appropriate.

After all, if it passes, not only is it VERY painful for the weary "tax paying parents" but we would KEEP being STUCK, every single day for the next 10 YEARS, 20 Years, 30 Years, 40 Years ,,,

If that doesn't make you WAH! all the way home, I'm NOT sure what would...

:The message was not lost on Tad Leithead, a business who is chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission board." A group that already admits this list WONT cut commute times at all - by the way.

"The federal government helps those that help themselves," he said. "We heard that loud and clear just now." Approve lousy projects to get Financing rates that change a few years out...

"We have spend it, to find out whats in it..." Haven't we been here before?

I'd really like to keep some of my money so I can give it to the PVA - I KNOW what they put in.

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BillEvelyn 2 years, 11 months ago

Let me see if I understand this. A big Liberal Republican named Mica from Florida 7th District advocates taxes in violation of Republican Party principles, and our GOP, Governor, Lt Governor, House Leadership, and Senate Leadership say absolutely nothing.

Naturally he wants us to pass it. His District borders Georgia and the higher sales taxes are here, the more people will go to Jacksonville to shop and buy big ticket items.

I think the scale of our problem with the Republican Party nationally and in the State of Georgia renders a fix almost impossible. Big spenders like Woodall, Graves, Westmoreland, etc. Anti Liberty NDAA supporters - all of them - need to be voted out of office.

This would be good for those primarying Liberal Republicans to do a press release admonishing this Libtard in Florida; especially in South Georgia.

What business is it of this Congress Idiot to advocate for anything in Georgia?

Florida stay out of our business.

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CD 2 years, 11 months ago

I wish Mr Mica a safe, speedy trip back to Florida.

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BuzzG 2 years, 11 months ago

Its never enough. If they get this money, it will take about twenty minutes before the government will be dreaming up new ways to get the people to part with their money. I no longer trust either Dems or Repubs. I trust only the Tea Party. They are the only organization left of any size that still respects the rights of the private individuals.

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Kent 2 years, 11 months ago

That Tea Party trust may not work out so well for you. Have you seen Mike Beadreau's last campaign flyer? Tea Party leader Debbie Dooley is proudly supporting him.

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JimmyOrr 2 years, 11 months ago

Folks, it's time to stop talking and time to go a'voting or as my late Grandpoppa use to say, "It's time to either fish or cut bait." Translated, this means it is time to VOTE on this issue which will be on the July 31st. Primary Election ballot. Early voting began Monday, July 9th. Monday thru Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM at the Gwinnett County Board of Elections, 455 Grayson Highway, Suite 200, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. Early voting will continue at this location through Friday, July 27th. You will also be able to vote at this location on Saturday, July 21st. Four satellite locations will be open for early voting from 9 AM to 7 PM beginning Monday, July 23rd. thru Friday, July 27th. These four locations will be at the Centerville Community Center, Dacula Park Activity Building, George Pierce Park Recreation Center, and the Lucky Shoals Park Recreation Center. There will be no early voting on Monday, July 30th. If you have not voted via absentee ballot or if you do not take advantage of early voting, please VOTE at your precinct on Tuesday, July 31st. The polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Please VOTE and VOTE how you please but please VOTE NO!

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teelee 2 years, 11 months ago

Gee, what happens to all of the fuel tax they collect from everybody every time we buy gas? They are making a killing off that, but yet they still want more and more, typical government.

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rco1847 2 years, 11 months ago

Tax and Spend Tax and Spend - isn't that what the republicans used to say about the democrats. Well guess what: In Gwinnett county we had 3, out of 5 BOC members resign-in-disgrace during the Briscoe field debacle. I don't want that board getting their hands on another dime of taxpayer money regardless of the reason. I want trust and honor restored and it won't come with a one party government and the same is true for the state. They've shoved EZ Pass down out throats and I liked to shove it up their , , , , , , . It's time they faced us one-to-one so we can tell them just how much we love them and their EZ pass. Our tax money built that road and we're not going to pay for it again. From the county adm. building to the Governors mansion I wouldn't give a nickle for the whole bunch. Oh, and it was the state gov't, not the federal, who imposed the required Birth Certtificate for license renewal. I fought for this county and now they don't seem to know who I am. The Feds decided 3 forms of ID would be required for security. The state decided on a Birth certificate. Vote them all OUT !!!

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