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Cities begin forming sales tax project lists

LAWRENCEVILLE -- With a vote expected in nine months, city leaders began talks Friday on how to divide their share of a proposed extension to the county's special purpose local option sales tax.

While county officials have not made any decisions on the program, which has funded $2 billion in capital projects over the past three decades, a current projection shows about $830 million could be collected countywide in five years, if voters approve the measure in November.

According to state law, the money must be shared with local cities based on population. But Gwinnett Municipal Association Director Randy Meacham said at a meeting of city officials Friday there has not been a consensus on which population figures to use, since the city of Peachtree Corners formed after the 2010 Census, and, through annexation, Norcross has grown by 25 percent in that time.

In the coming months, the various governments are expected to begin formulating lists of projects, so voters would more before the balloting takes place.

In the past, much of the programs have focused on transportation, public safety, parks and libraries.

"Transportation may have changed. That's the $64,000 question," Suwanee City Manager Marty Allen said, referring to possible change in public support since last year's failure of a regional transportation sales tax.

But because of that failure, Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson encouraged city leaders to strongly consider roads as part of their lists.

"I'm fairly sure you aren't going to see new transportation money for several years," said Johnson, who chaired a group of mayors and commission chairmen who devised the Atlanta T-SPLOST list.

Since last year's referendum, Johnson said leaders should learn some lessons from it and be sure to educate voters about the upcoming proposal.

"You can't assume people have the information and get it," he said. "Getting the information out there is going to be crucial to getting informed voters."

He noted that while elected officials can speak out, they cannot use city resources to campaign for or against the proposal.

"You not only have a right but a duty and responsibility to share what your citizens are going to vote on," Allen added, saying that the city includes background in its newsletters although it does not advocate. "But you do have to be careful about what you say."

With questions coming from some city officials new to the process, like Duluth City Manager Tim Shearer, many of the municipal leaders offered advice on finding projects that fulfill city needs while being sure long-term operations costs can be met and at the same time making residents happy.

Some city leaders said they planned to engage residents in the process of formulating their list of projects.

"You may not get to do any projects if the voters don't pass it, so you have to think about that," Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks said.

Comments

R 1 year, 2 months ago

Let’s give the SPLOST programs a 12 or 24 month break,

These are becoming the Lays Potato Chips of governance. “Bet you can’t eat just one...”

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JV 1 year, 2 months ago

For many in Gwinnett, SPLOST has become a dirty word thanks to the follies of our county commissioners over the years including waste, fraud and abuse. Recently we were told that some parks will need to be closed due to lack of maintenance funds. SPLOTS have been used for years to build stuff that Gwinnett County can’t afford to keep up and maintain. Included are all the Libraries some of which have been forced to close or cut operations.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

SPLOST is used to fund infrastructure improvements along with fire stations and new fire apparatus. I will always wholeheartedly support a SPLOST referendum as long as a large portion is used to enhance public safety.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Since this is the only way you are able to pay your fair share, then you should support SPLOST. You essentially admitted on another post that you are not middle class.

State of the Union: Obama urges Congress to make government work for 'the many'

State of the Union: Obama urges Congress to make government work for 'the many' by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Again....you are making assumptions when you don't know what you are talking about.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

You are a taker, not a contributer.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

I went back and checked my post from a few days ago. What I said was "my federal income tax witholding had not gone up". How in the world in your infinite wisdom did you determine from that statement that I am not part of the middle class? Remember what happens when you ASSume things.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

"my federal income tax witholding had not gone up"


Then you are not making enough to be considered to be middle / working class. Since you were rude enough to ask people to provide "examples" to the contrary, then you pony up all of your numbers first. It shouldn't be that hard since there is so little $.

C'mon, we have already figured out just how little you earn and how insignificant your share is to the income tax base. You are the one that gave yourself away by stating - "my federal income tax witholding had not gone up"..

Stop trying to avoid the question you put on the table. Show us your money!

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

It would probably just bother you more New2me. I am one of those retired "public servants" (county) that has one of those bloated and excessive retirements you folks hate so much.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Examples to come ...........

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NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

Publik[sic] Servant is an oxymoron (with emphasis on "...moron". Yes, we do hate those bloated and excessive retirements you people enjoy. You sure a H-E-double-L didn't earn them!

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R 1 year, 2 months ago

Absolutely priceless, words just can't describe but these will have to do. Pot meet Kettle

Why_not 10 hours, 33 minutes ago

It's rather humorous anticipating who will post on a news story and how the comments will play out. Most comments are from ANGRY/WHITE/REPUBLICAN/MALES.

What about ASSuming again?

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kevin 1 year, 2 months ago

and then the taxpayer will continue to have to fund all those things since the BOC won't cut anyone

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dentaldawg83 1 year, 2 months ago

want to stimulate local retail?...lower the sales tax rate by voting no...

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BuzzG 1 year, 2 months ago

OK, politicians, get your snouts up to the trough. Here comes the slop.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

It's rather humorous anticipating who will post on a news story and how the comments will play out. Most comments are from ANGRY/WHITE/REPUBLICAN/MALES. Is it any wonder why the republicans aren't taken seriously anymore? I am sure this will draw a few heated rebuttals.

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R 1 year, 2 months ago

Heated rebuttal?

No, however a yawn seems to fit the bill more appropriately.

Because this comment was just another sexist, racist post by those inclined to tax everything in sight...

Presented by a party that can’t really see either the sex, race or the real affiliation of other commenters here.

Quite frankly most of us see the need for EMS support, we simply want elected officials to realize that they have TAXES already in place for the fundamentals…

It just means redistributing the core in tight times.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

You noted "EMS" support. I am not really sure how you mean this but the cost of providing EMS services is quite lower than providing adequate fire protection although Gwinnett Fire does both. As far as taxes in place for the fundamentals, property taxes at current levels would not fund our current public safety services.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

ANGRY/WHITE/REPUBLICAN/MALES


That is racist!

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Well then, I guess that makes me fit right in with the rest of you....haha

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Why-not, you the are the only racist here. Where has anyone but you used the color of someone's skin within hate speech? You are the only racist here.

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R 1 year, 2 months ago

EMS = Fire Medical and Police included are courts, sheriff, DA the basics and most agree about this.

(We do apparently now have to support a satellite office for the FBI and DOJ staff for the near term or else get buried in HOT Lane reimbursements until their work is finished.)

Stating we don't have enough in taxes collected is correct ... Because we spend our yearly Billion Plus intake on many programs that are or should have been obsoleted by now.

For example, where does one of the many streams of money to support the Chamber come from? The general fund I believe. The Chamber probably needed a hand early on to develop, but for as many years as it has been subsidized, there has to be an end in sight. You have to kick the kid out of nest sometime so those dedicated funds can be used elsewhere. And it isn't just the county, ask how any cities and CIDS buy in with YOUR tax dollars or put another way how much have YOU force donated without even a chance to deduct any of it?.

The stadium was built on tax dollars, obligations based on the general fund again and the bonds secured by the ability to tax residents for 30 years to support a privately owned team that will most likely withdraw or require major facility upgrades in 20 years.

There's a trend here, we are consuming our collective resources on the wrong items and finding ever more creative ways to try and " tax those who don't live here" but the sad truth is the majority of the "tax takes" are from the hapless residents willing to be held up at every single turn.

The list is much greater than presented by Engage Gwinnett research, but hey then again why who you bite the hand that pays you with a vast amount of money obtained through compulsory means?

Been on any fact finding missions in Europe yet, if you can fund those, you don't need the tax dollars.

We are no longer in the go-go grow-grow 80s and 90s. Just like the big hair days are done, so is the bottomless well of cash for taxes. Many outside of elected office know this, however it just doesn't seem to have taken root yet by those recommending, ever more taking - be it by tax of fee.

It may come back in fashion as "retro" but we aren't yet by a long shot.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

There are some things I think we both can agree on: the stadium deal was a terrible decision and tax dollars should not be funding the Chamber of Commerce. There are several areas that could use substantial "belt tightening" but I will always believe and support the idea that public safety should always come first. The safety of my family as well as every other family in this county should trump all other priorities....always.

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R 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes we just might at that ...

But we cant' keep ignoring the waste because we need the EMS services listed above - its no longer an acceptable trade-off if one could ever have accepted the position to begin with.

Bottom line fix how you spend what you have collected first, before continuously asking for or expecting more because some of the extras may end up in an truly essential service ...

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BufordGuy 1 year, 1 month ago

According to the Supreme Court it is YOUR responsibility to guarantee the safety of you and your family, not the government's. The government's responsibility only goes to "society" as a whole. Therefore I do not understand this holding up of Public Safety as untouchable.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

I honestly wonder if most people even know the extent of the cost to provide the facilities and equipment needed to provide an adequate level of public safety protection to our citizens. By taking the SPLOST funds out of the equation, either services would have to be cut drastically or property taxes would see an increase just to maintain services. Police cruisers and fire apparatus wear out quickly with the number of miles they are driven annually. Police precincts and fire stations are also funded by SPLOST funds. I remember back in the early 80s when fire apparatus seemed to be held together with duct tape and rubber bands. We never knew if they would get to the scene to do the job at hand. Thanks to the SPLOST funds, our first responders can get to the scene safely and ensure that the task in front of them can also be handled safely and adequately. Considering that an average fire engine costs upwards of $500,000, just think about how this would affect the tax base if SPLOST should disappear.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Do you even own property? Your income level, as described earlier in the week on another post, suggests you don't make enough to own a home. The government finances are none of your concern if you don't contribute your fair share.

State of the Union: Obama urges Congress to make government work for 'the many'

State of the Union: Obama urges Congress to make government work for 'the many' by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh yes I pay taxes. I probably pay as much or more property taxes as any one of you. And what makes you think I don't have an adequate income? Is it because of what I said about my federal taxes not going up? You are grasping at straws now it appears.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Based on your income level, as presented by the fact that your "taxes" have not risen, the only one grasping at straws is you. If you think you pay more in property taxes, than me for example, then you are living way beyond your means.

C'mon, prove us wrong. I can't wait to see what "fantasy figures" you come up with. Let me remind you that you are the one that initiated this whole can of worms. Your problem.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

The fact that I said my federal taxes have not gone up says nothing about my income. What planet did you drop in from News2me? My initial post had nothing to do with anyone's income.....only the benefits of the SPLOST. You are the one that chose to bring in personal attacks and accusations. Typical I suppose.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

LMAO! Typical that a liberal would lie about their income and net worth, all while not paying their fair share. Anyone that doesn't agree with you is a racist, another comment that will come back to haunt you. All of this will be brought up in the future if you don't come forth with authentic examples. Ask Cleanupguy, his multiple personalities / aka lies have made his posts worthless drivel. You are headed in the exact same direction .....

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Now is that supposed to make me worry? It is you that cannot handle someone disagreeing with you as you have proven. For all I know you could be one of those who receive food stamps and drain the public coffers. Pleaseeeee......give me a break.....haha. People like you are a dime a dozen around here.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Liars usually have no feelings, so it is plain to see why you are not worried. Yes - disagreeing is one thing, pathological lying is another. If insults make you feel better, go for it. Again, you should have thought first instead of posting lies about your income and the value of mythical property. You are your own worst enemy in this whole fiasco, created by you! Priceless! LMAO!!!!!!

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Let's see now.....would you prefer my W-2 or do you want my entire tax return? Haha

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Again...you must be living in a fantasy world. Where didI post my income? The fact that I am retired means my income is relatively consistent therefore my taxes have not gone up at all. NONE!!!

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JV 1 year, 2 months ago

Ever heard of prozac? You blab some half-wit information based on nothing but the empty space between your ears. Maybe you can get some good prices on prozac with your ObamaCare.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

All you TEAbaggers can do is hurl insults when someone disagrees with you...hence the description I gave above.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

TEABaggers = hate speech. You nothing more than a bully.

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Kent 1 year, 2 months ago

Why_not is demonstrating a classic example of the simple minded moochers who fully support Obama and all his disciples. Anyone who would use the vile vulgar term TEAbaggers demonstrates that they are certainly not the brightest light on the Christmas tree. When progs. can not logically support their left wing agenda they always revert to name calling.

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BufordGuy 1 year, 2 months ago

SPLOST funds are not used to provide services, they are used to build facilities or purchase equipment. General tax revenues are used to provide the services. So, if SPLOST does not pass, it will simply mean no more police or emergency services will be constructed--unless taxes are increased to do so--but services will still be provided by general revenue. I'm not even sure if SPLOST can be used to buy vehicles, I know it can't be used to maintain them.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes...SPLOST is used to buy vehicles for every county department and to build facilities. It can't be used to pay salaries. One of the points I was making is due to the high cost of purchasing fire apparatus, it would put an extreme burden on the county budget should SPLOST funds not be available

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BufordGuy 1 year, 2 months ago

Therein lies the problem with SPLOST. It can be used to build and/or buy things that cost TONS of money to maintain through future years but can't be used to PAY the maintenance putting a huge burden on us taxpayers. The only way I'll support it is if it is used on transportation as the ongoing costs are peanuts compared to the initial construction.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

What you are saying is that once a fire engine, ambulance, patrol car, or piece of construction equipment wears out, simply throw it away without replacing it. Thinking such as this makes absolutely no sense fiscally. Current property tax revenues cannot possibly provide all the necessary things that HAVE to be replaced over time to ensure that county services continue. Nothing lasts forever........

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BufordGuy 1 year, 2 months ago

No what I am saying is that I know SPLOST can't be used to operate or maintain those vehicles--only purchase them. It can't be used for operating expenses of any kind so governments tend to purchase more than they can afford to pay with general tax revenues, ie operations and maintenance of parks and libraries built with SPLOST funds.

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TiredTaxPayer 1 year, 2 months ago

Gwinnett County has used Due Diligence in the use of Splost Funds , One prime example is Sugar Loaf Parkway . Why let something lapse that is doing the citizens a service without the pain of a total tax increase. The Roads and equipment paid for by Splost is paid by the masses rather than just a few.

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R 1 year, 2 months ago

No one to my knowledge has stated that ALL funds are wasted, much has been deployed to our collective benefit. But the economic conditions are not what the were in the SPLOST heyday - now instead of prudent extras as they were once pitched to provide - they are beginning to be a never-ending REQUIRED resource, that without renewal we"ll all just simply DIE!

Fact is, lets just stop kidding ourselves and reset the clock now, retire these "pie in the sky" "somebody else pays with other people's money" pitches and freely admit its time to up the core millage.

NOW that would be a real barn burner, spending YOUR/OUR money rather than furthering the delusion of spending someone else's...

Talk about funding for the Chamber suddenly drying up like Lanier in a drought...

Let the SPLOST return to the role of being OPTIONAL once more, providing prudent extras or just pass a permanent tax and be done with it.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Why_not says .... I probably pay as much or more property taxes as any one of you.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Proof? Your future credibility on this blog site depends on your honesty and examples.....

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Examples of what? Now why in the world should I do that? You formed this fantasy so you can now live in it?

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Again, you are the one that started this "I am better than the rest of thou" by clearly stating that your taxes had not gone up (evidence that you are not middle class) AND that you pay more property taxes. Clearly the ball is in your court, you must provide examples that prove you are telling the truth.

Your creditibily depends on your examples.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

I MUST? Just who do you think you are? The GDP comment patrol? Now that's funny.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes, you must or there are going to be many posters that won't give you the time of day in posts to come. Not funny - that's hillarious! LMAO

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

You clearly are operating on minimum brain cells. How in the world do you determine I am not middle class just because my taxes have not gone up? Do you have a crystal ball?

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Why_not says ...

Let's see now.....would you prefer my W-2 or do you want my entire tax return? Haha

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Funny, funny man you are just sitting there in your double-wide enjoying life.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Why_not says .....

I am one of those retired "public servants" (county) that has one of those bloated and excessive retirements you folks hate so much.

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh I knew that subject would set you off. Of course a huge amount of my salary went into my pension for years as well.....but I am sure that doesn't matter to people like you.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Why_not continues to brag ..... I am loving mine. :-)

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Exactly....LOVE it!! And I have it for life.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

LOVE it!! ... Yes, your posts indicate you do love to lie

And I have it for life ... and you plan on telling lies for the rest of your life?

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Of course a huge amount of my salary went into my pension for years as well

Your pension is provided by your employer, aka the government as you claim, which is ultimately the taxpayers that you look down on. Your huge salary went into your pension? My gosh, the lies and fantasies keep flowing from Why_not .....

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

As this progresses, you seem to be getting better at drawing your own conclusions about everything. As those famous lines from the movie go...."you can't handle the truth." you also find it very easy to call someone a liar when you obviously have nothing factual to base it on. None of this has anything to do with the SPLOST issue since you basically hijacked the entire thread to suit your political agenda and vent your misguided frustrations with senseless banter. I am having quite a good time just knowing that I have allowed you to reveal just how stupid you really are.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

As this progresses, you just keep telling more lies to cover up lies. Keep posting, you are digging your own hole ....

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't change my words around to suit yourself. I said "a huge portion of my salary went into my pension for many years."

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Your words, your lies ... ad naseum SMH

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh no....my words....your lies. I bet you are one of those county employees as well except you have an R behind your name so that makes it perfectly ok....haha

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

The lies keeps spewing from your mouth like a fire hydrant ..........

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

You and JohnGalt should get together and have an anti-tax rally. right now I am tired of your babbling nonsense.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

You should lead an anti-truth rally. right now I am tired of your babbling lies.

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JohnGalt 1 year, 2 months ago

Excuse me! I'm not a party to your feud with news2me. But I would be more than happy to expose you for the idiot and fraud that you are starting with your racist comments in here. You don't want to even go down that path and dig into your historic rhetorical nonsense you have published since you registered. What is your malfunction? That is, besides the fact you are a moocher, looter, and parasite on society - all those qualities that exemplify what it means to be a liberal.

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Kent 1 year, 2 months ago

JohnGalt--well said............

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

.... and your lies are held together with duct tape and rubber bands!

Why_not learn to tell the truth?

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JohnGalt 1 year, 2 months ago

Remember http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news...?

Go read this article again. And one of the things I said about it was, amongst other things, "...AND you wonder why we don’t trust you! You put it in as a line item just so that you could utilize the money elsewhere once the voters approved the referendum. Now the truth comes out..."

Well, you will be hard pressed to get me to ever vote for a SPLOST referendum in Gwinnett again as long as I live here. You people perpetuate one fraud after another against the people of Gwinnett County and then expect us to say "thank you sir, may I have another?" Enjoy what you have now, for when the next SPLOST comes up for a vote, I will make it my mission to get as many people as possible to vote against it.

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Mack711 1 year, 2 months ago

T SPLOST will never get my vote again for anything. Why can't they put this money aside and save some of it for a 'rainy day' instead of spending it all at one time. Then turn around and ask for another T SPLOST for more useless projects like dog parks and roundabouts as Duluth has. We must live with in what we make from our jobs why can government live with in the means of what they collect with out this mess. Seniors on fixed incomes will be the ones hurt the most. Some day we will all be there.

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Why_not has hijacked the entire thread ....

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Why_not 1 year, 2 months ago

You guys run in packs like most scavengers........

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news2me 1 year, 2 months ago

Packs of citizens that tell the truth, and rest easy at night because their honesty makes for an uncluttered mind. You, (aka Why_not), on the other hand are so bothered by your dishonesty that you sneak in a cowardly post in the wee hours of the morning because you can't sleep. Yawn!

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NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

news2me, stop arguing with this idiot of a troll. Besides, you don't even know which of his multiple personalities you are arguing with (Why_not, aka Say_that_again aka Know_it_all). It craves attention it obviously never got as a child.

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kevin 1 year, 2 months ago

more and more cps DO NOT stop crime. All they can do is investigate crimes after they happen. This is how things work in the real world, 90% of the time so quit saying more public safety will solve your problems. So will your guns. Protect yourself first, then let cops do their thing. Why_not is the big mouth Liberal in this bunch and will only rest when government takes over all our daily functions.

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Why_not 1 year, 1 month ago

Ok Kevin....1- no one mentioned cops but you; 2- I never said we need more public safety but it sure wouldn't hurt. I said we need to strive to keep levels where they are and not see them lowered. All I ever intended to do anywhere in this thread is stress the way that SPLOST saves in the form of lower property taxes to maintain services. I admit I did get carried away when News2me begn his personal attacks and lies.

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