0

T-SPLOST debate draws crowd to Lilburn

Reader poll

How will you vote on the TSPLOST issue?

  • Yes 25%
  • No 74%
  • Undecided 1%

1267 total votes.

LILBURN -- Dave Williams and Colleen Kiernan, foes in the debate over a regional transportation sales tax proposed for metro Atlanta, agreed on several things at a forum Monday in Lilburn.

Both said transit needs to be a part of the transportation solution. Both said the tax is not a total solution to congestion. And both agreed that the list of more than $6 billion in projects proposed for the funding is flawed.

But while Kiernan, the director of the Sierra Club, said voters should "vote no and demand better," Williams, of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce told the crowd of more than 100, "Do not let the search for the perfect be the enemy of the good."

The choice, a yes-or-no question on ballots July 31, has divided much of Atlanta. And with two weeks to go before the election, many of the attendees came looking for answers.

Kiernan said the proposal has brought a diverse coalition of foes because leaders failed to create a vision when they agreed on a "hodge-podge" project list for the region. Plus, increases to the state gas tax or other funding measures could be a better solution.

"It doesn't make sense to pay a tax on toothpaste. It does make sense to pay a tax on gas," she said, adding that many of the questions prepared for the debate were ones she wanted answered about the tax as well.

Williams, the former mayor of Suwanee, had to explain details from operations funds, which are included for new transit projects but not for the MARTA system, to oversight of the funds -- which would fall to a committee created by legislation.

He even fielded questions on specific proposals, including a complaint that funding would go to arts and parks in Atlanta's Beltline project, although he said that is not true. The only tax money earmarked for the project is for its transit components, he said.

The only project in Lilburn that made the regional list was for a small section of sidewalk on U.S. Highway 29. Williams said he was not familiar with the specifics of it, but said pedestrian options are important along major arterials.

The $8.5 billion in revenues the tax would bring in in 10 years, he said, would begin to bridge a $66 billion budget gap in transportation, and it would improve the business climate as well as quality of life.

"I think we need to boldly move into the future," he said.

Comments

HonestIngine 2 years, 3 months ago

Bottom Line about all this TSPLOST B.S..... Whenever you vote to be taxed that tax will always be with you,..PERIOD. The programs that they say will be supported will have no effect on you except in your pocket. Does not sound like much, but over the course of time it is costly to everyone. The supporters are in this for their own good, their own pockets will be lined at your expense. Typical government, they are here to tax not help. The behind the scenes construction companies, shady deals with our legislatures, etc. will not be exposed for years, by that time it will be too late. Voting yes is like saying take more money out of our families mouths we dont need it for food, education, clothes or even a vacation... Take and what will we receive? Less comute time when most companies are alowing employees the ability to work from home? Get real Gwinnett... Voting for higher taxes? Really?

3

JimmyOrr 2 years, 3 months ago

Williams, if "We the People" aka taxpayers need to move boldly, then the bold move should be to the polls on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, to VOTE NO to the TSPOST boondoggle.

4

JohnGalt 2 years, 3 months ago

Let those that use transportation pay for transportation through gas tax or fees assessed to use public transportation. In doing so, the transportation problem will fix itself through funds to address their transportation problems or modified behavior. I'm not interested in paying for everything in my day-to-day life to subsidize your transportation woes. Just do the math. If you live locally here in Gwinnett, then that 1 Cent Sales Tax will cost you $1 for every $100, $10 for every $1,000, $100 for every $10,000. And if you spend $50,000 a year in the local economy, which mind you, isn't that far off for a family making $80K-$90K a year, then you have effectively given the government $500 for the year, or $5,000 for 10 years as the case may be. "NO!" It's just that simple.

1

catperson2 2 years, 3 months ago

I have to take exception to what John has said. First off if the price of gas increases so does the sales tax. Secondly, if you increase the price of public transportation, people will quit riding buses and get in their cars to drive to where they are going. Adding more cars and congestion to the roads. One cent sales tax isn't all that much and I would like to know who spends $100.00 daily? I certainly don't, in fact I think I might spend, maybe around $25.00, if that much, a week.

You also mentioned those who are in the tax bracket of $80-$90K spending around $500.00 a year, which is total nonsense. You aren't taxed on your car insurance (at least State Farm doesn't tax their clients) and most food items at the grocery store aren't taxed. There are several things that aren't taxed in the State of Georgia. This one cent sales tax would effect everyone, not just the people who live here. The out of state vistors would be paying this one cent sales tax too, coming and going. To me, this is the most "fair" tax of all.

I don't want to see my property taxes increase because a few don't want to pay one cent extra to solve this mess.

0

jack 2 years, 3 months ago

What's to stop the politicians from raising your property taxes even if T-SPLOST passes?

That is why one never votes a tax upon themselves.

1

catperson2 2 years, 3 months ago

At least the one cent tax will go towards roads, as for my property taxes going up, I really doubt that since I just had my home reassessed and they valued the house down and therefore my property taxes will be based on that. If you keep hoping things will get better and I truly hope they do, what better time than now to put into place a tax that is time limited now than to wait several years when things are much better and the price will be higher, to me that's a win. And by the way, I support "fair" taxes because I want the police and the EMT's and firemen to be there when I call and I want them driving on safe roads. The roads will be paved and the rail lines will go in, but at what tax base? One cent is fair, everyone shares with the cost.

0

FordGalaxy 2 years, 3 months ago

Correction: At least THEY SAY the once cent tax will go towards roads. Sorry, had to correct that, catperson2. Not saying that what you said was wrong, and please don't take it as such. But I just don't exactly buy into politicians telling me what the money will be spend for. Social Security was supposed to be an account that aided people in their older age, or if a person got sick or died it could help their left-behind dependents. But then a politician somewhere saw all that money sitting there not being spent and thought they could spend it better than those who paid it in. Just look at the tollbooths on 400. Those should've went away many years ago, but some politicians somewhere saw a chance to keep milking the wallets of the citizenry in order to pay, most likely for pet projects that would buy votes from their constitutents.

I know it sounds jaded, but it's truth. I don't trust politicians and I sure don't trust politicians with mine or anyone else's money.

0

R 2 years, 3 months ago

Just waiting for the increase in millage rate that wipes out the "reduction"... cause its acomin around the mountain...

0

R 2 years, 3 months ago

Cat
You don't remember the state CHANGED the sales tax structure this year and all those changes (increases) won’t hit your wallet for a few more months do you?

Well in fairness they called a tax “reduction” but it’s actually a tax INCREASE.

Good luck with that “we get other peoples’ money” position when your PERSONAL food expense GOES UP!!!

0

Gundoctor1 2 years, 3 months ago

If you vote yes for an additional or a continued tax in these times we are living in now you are a fool !!!!!!!!!!!

4

catperson2 2 years, 3 months ago

Call me a fool then, we can't afford not to do this now.

0

kevin 2 years, 3 months ago

well you do it for the rest of us. You are the only one I know that trusts these crooks to spend this money like they are proposing. Did you get your high school education from WalMart?

0

BuzzG 2 years, 3 months ago

"I think we need to boldly move into the future," he said.

We sure do. That is why we are not voting for more tax.

2

toby 2 years, 3 months ago

We have the lottery to pay for education (which I still don't know how money makes people smarter) and we have a SPLOST to keep 1% going to education. Another spend on nothing tax. So why not make a new lottery to pay for transportation? The scratch off's could have free marta tokens or bus tickets. Vote "HELL TO THE NO" on this crap. $66,000,000,000 just for transportation. $66,000,000,000 can buy a country with roads already in place. This is ridiculous. And for you folks that voted for obama, this is a time to redeem yourself and help stop government spending . Government is addicted to spending our money, not theirs. The government must get the message that "WE THE PEOPLE" are still in control! "And that's all I have to say about that"- F. Gump.

1

LilburnLady 2 years, 3 months ago

Some fatal mistakes will sink this TSPLOST Referendum. 1) Allowing politicians to decide what projects would be on the list. The hodge podge of projects is nothing but the usual "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" wheeling and dealing amongst local politicians. Projects should have been ranked by how many commuters would benefit, not by whose political district it was in.

2) The State Roads and Tollways Agency needs to be reined in. The fact that tolls are still being collected on GA 400 years after it has been fully paid off, just demonstrates that once a tax or toll is enacted, it never goes away. The real capper though was the implementation of the HOT Lanes on I-85. We didn't want them, we don't need them and they have made traffic worse, not better. Yet, we still have them over and above the objections of 1000's of commuters and taxpayers. This demonstrates that the taxpayer has NO VOICE in the process and we would be paying for projects that don't benefit us, that we don't want, but will be forced to pay for anyway.

3) We need mass transit and we need it now. Commuter trains could run on tracks that are already in place. Atlanta is the rail hub of the southeast, but we don't have one single commuter train running, why? Regular engines, pulling regular passenger cars could go in to the City in the mornings and out of the City in the evenings. We don't want or need MARTA, but wouldn't it be nice to have the option to ride to work without having to stop for red lights or get caught in the I-85 congestion? Trains would be a much lower cost option than MARTA and would at least give commuters some choices.

These are the reasons that I will be voting NO on TSPLOST. We need to send a message to our politicians that they need to get their fingers out of the cookie jar and to work together to actually solve some problems.

2

kevin 2 years, 3 months ago

The politicians know our sales tax rates are low (6%) compared to many other large cities. Since they are so low, these crooks think we will give up another 1% for them to give out bogus do nothing contracts. Soon we will hit 8% because of idiots that like to increase taxes on themselves. They somehow feel empowered!

0

BrainerTrainer 2 years, 3 months ago

Simply with respect to Lilburn, providing sidewalks is very short sighted. At least bike trails should have been proposed. Cars do share the roads with bicycles. Bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks for safety reasons.

Like LilburnLady I support commuter trains. A Brain train was suggested in the past and should still be on the table. The thought was that a commuter rail from Athens to Atlanta connecting to several college campuses could take commuting college students off the roads. Employees of those campuses could also benefit from this.

Taxes should remain directly or indirectly connected to the product or service associated to it. Revenues for roads should come from fuel for the vehicles that use them. Using a sales tax in essense is a double taxation. Once on the gas, and another via the product delivered. Therefore that improper use of this taxation along with the lack of meaningful projects to relieve traffic to reduce commute times, clean the environment, and bring jobs is the reason why I will vote NO for this TSPLOST referendum.

0

kevin 2 years, 3 months ago

To quote the Gwinnett Forum(Ellitot Brack), "Every time a new sales tax is imposed, it only means that big property owners get a major break. That's why commercial interests, often led by Republicans, want to shift the tax collection away from property to sales, which everyone pays. But they conveniently forget to mention that it is a major saving in taxes for big-time property owners. Not only that, but in slow business times, like now, fewer dollars are collected from sales taxes. Property taxes are much more stable. And remember, all sales taxes are regressive, hurting the mid and lower earners much more than the fat cats." This is a liberal newsletter always attacking the GOP as the "bad guys." Folks, this is NOT the reason for not voting for this 1% tax. To blame the GOP for even putting the tax to a vote is ridiculous. There are way too many "real" reasons for not voting for this fiasco of a bill. ALL politicians are for it so they can blame us when nothing is solved in 10 yrs. The projects will be completed only if ALL the regions involved pass it. If they don't some projects either will be cut short (useless) or not started at all. This is nothing more than a way for us to put up money to give money and jobs to developers, the key people in a politicians' war chest for re-election. Please don't re-elect anyone and we will take back our government.

0

SickandTired 2 years, 3 months ago

I looked at the investor list for the TSPLOST campaign. Very interesting group of donors, big business, major property/realtors, engineering firms, construction firms. this whole thing stinks to high heaven.

0

Hangdog 2 years, 3 months ago

@SickandTired: You have link to that list? Was wondering about this recently.

0

skygirl 2 years, 3 months ago

Do not vote for this! Delta Air Lines is exempt from paying this! We should all be smarter than voting yes! City of Lilburn raised the millage rate again last week! Trust me, your property taxes will go up anyway!

0

Braveshopr 2 years, 3 months ago

What I wonder is who is paying for the ads seen on television every 2 hours. Must be a lot of money shelled out for those high-priced ads. I believe it says, 'Citizens for ---something. I would like to know who those citizens are and why they are paying for such expensive ads. Surely it isn't because they care about other citizens.

1

JimmyOrr 2 years, 3 months ago

If CSX or Norfolk-Southern could turn a profit hauling passengers from Point A to Point B on their rails, they would already be in the business of doing so. Move boldly to the polls on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. VOTE NO to the TSPLOST boondoggle.

0

BrainerTrainer 2 years, 3 months ago

That's the wrong perception. The problem,obviously, is that competition—interstate highways and domestic airlines—isn't "profitable", either. Intercity travel of any kind has enormous fixed costs—purchasing or seizing land for airports or rights-of-way; building highways and railroad tracks; buying, fuelling and operating planes and trains. That's why governments have traditionally played a large role in air, rail and road travel.

Here are some better questions: what's the right balance of public- and private-sector involvement in these sorts of enterprises? How much, if anything, should governments continue to invest in air, rail and road infrastructure? If the government is going to invest in infrastructure (rather than simply let the market decide), what is the right balance of spending between those different modes of travel?

0

ssisk78 2 years, 3 months ago

I HAVE AN IDEA, WHY DON'T THEY TAKE THE MONEY FROM THE TOLLS THAT WAS FORCED UPON US 400 AND I85 AND USE IT TO FUND THERE PROJECTS. WHERE IS THE MONEY FROM THAT GOING ANYWAY? VOTE NO. THEY HAVE PLEANTY OF MONEY BUT CHOOSE TO BLOW IT. VOTE NO VOTE NO. WE AMERICANS NEED TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK AND THIS IS THE FIRST STEP.

0

teelee 2 years, 3 months ago

Georgia tax revenues will be going up with the so called Republican tax reform. I bought something on the internet the other day and I got socked for about $12.00 of tax for Georgia. This kind of money will add up quick. My car tags were still over $300.00. I haven't received a pay raise in four years, your focus should be on voting Barack Insane Obama out of office and then lets talk about more taxes when people are actually making some money again.

0

Hangdog 2 years, 3 months ago

Some of the gropus who gave money in support of TSplost. Pretty easy to see why these donors want it passed. $250,000: Coke, Ga Power, Yancey Bros. (catepillar dealer), Cox, Ga Assoc of Realtors,

$100,000+: Cousins Properties, Delta, Comcast, Matthews Contracting, Post Apartments, Siemens, SunTrust, Home Depot, Vulcan Materials

$50,000: Catepillar, Atl. Gas Light, Duke Realty, Ga Hwy Contractors, Holder Construction, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo

0

Sign in to comment