Citing lack of rail spending, Sierra Club comes out against transportation sales tax | Political Insider

Fact or Fiction: Chamber of Commerce distributes TSPLOST information | Newnan Times-Herald (Thx Jules!)

T-SPLOST raises several questions | Jackson Herald (I didn’t even know Jackson County was included in the T-SPLOST vote.)

I know there are differing opinions, so have at it.

 

29 Responses to T-SPLOST Open Thread

  1. MB gotta go says:

    I’m not voting “yes” until this State gets a rail line from Macon to Atlanta.

    • ire says:

      Yes. Because the state’s residential patterns and city infrastructures are such that rail is a viable option.

      No chance of it becoming an ineffectual boondoggle, none at all.

  2. Tim says:

    I’d be happy if they just put a referendum on the ballot that says “do you support a 5cent tax on gasoline & fuel to increase funding to repair bridges, build rail lines and fix roads” but alas, they don’t want voters to decide that either. Or maybe they’re just afraid people will say yes by majority and then what do they do with the stark-raving-mad lunatics from the Norquist camp?

  3. Drew says:

    I’ll be voting yes.

    Even if you believe the state legislature should have made the decision itself, voting down a tax increase that will fund a worthwhile project will simply confirm the view that no matter how worthwhile the project, the public will not support a tax increase to pay for it. Legislators will be even less willing to vote to raise taxes.

    The success of this referendum will have the opposite effect: legislators will see that the public will support a tax increase and thus will be more willing to support one themselves.

    And really, suppose this weren’t transportation, but rather, say, an anti discrimination law? How many would vote for continued discrimination because they didn’t like that the state legislature deferred the question to the people? I suspect not many. It’s the substance that matters here, not the process.

    • Trevor Southerland says:

      Drew,

      While your argument is logical, do you really think the ~2/3rds of our General Assembly who are members of the Grover Norquist Party are as logical as you are?

      Seriously, under any circumstances… lets say this thing passes with an 80% majority in every single vote across the state… do you seriously think that 1/3rd of the Republican Caucus will join with Democrats to raise the necessary revenue to truly improve our state’s 1950’s style transportation infrastructure?

      • Drew says:

        I think legislators either respond to public opinion or they lose re-election to candidates who do.

        Whether they are logical is irrelevant. If they are then they change their position; if they aren’t then they lose re-election. Either way, legislature moves in the direction of the public opinion.

        I don’t know what form that movement will take – I doubt it will be the one you describe – but if the public says it supports higher taxes in return for better services, then the legislature will deliver. If it says it is willing to tolerate bad service in return for lower taxes, then the legislature will deliver that.

  4. DunwoodyDem says:

    One can fairly quibble with Georgia pol’s increasing reliance on SPLOSTs to generate new tax revenue. However, the one thing the SPLOST mechanism actually does quite well is ensure that the money goes where the money is supposed to go. Public input shapes the project list (for the T-SPLOST, it actually set the priorities and time frame for the individual projects) and then the money raised can be spent only on those projects. Legislators and GDOT don’t have discretion about appropriation and spending on these projects once the voter votes. That’s part and parcel of their cowardice. But, as you correctly note, they are a bunch of weasels. Which means that taking them out of the equation provides significantly more security for the public to know the projects will actually get done. It’s not like all that money that goes into the state’s General Fund that never gets to the programs that have been authorized. OneGeorgia anybody?

  5. Pappy says:

    If the people reading this blog cannot be convinced of the importance and utility of the TSPLOST passing, we are truly doomed as a state and as a city. And not to pick on Julianna, but not voting for this now brings about the ultimate overruns and delays. This stuff doesn’t get cheaper and easier to implement as time goes by – quite the opposite.

    • DunwoodyDem says:

      Absolutely right. Trevor up there says he’s for 2 or 3 cents and really do something meaningful… That’s a wonderful sentiment, but the public won’t say yes to that. We’ve got to make what progress we can, and sooner is definitely better than later. Georgia has been exceptionally bad at leveraging USDOT money wisely to build the right kinds of transportation infrastructure. This is a step in a better direction. It is just a first step, but it will eventually help.

  6. Julianal says:

    Point taken Dunwoody Dem, I suppose I should be clear, my concerns are not about the intent, but in the execution of said plans.

    Thus far the folks who hold the purse strings and the authority haven’t given me any sort of confidence they have the where with all to implement the intent with out massive over runs and delays.

    Again, if the Legislators were so confident in the plan, why didn’t they stand behind it and appropriate the funds?

    I for see weasels scurrying everywhere at the first sign of a problem.

  7. DunwoodyDem says:

    Surprise, transportation politics in this state isn’t pristine! Of course it isn’t; the process is crappy, leaders have shown cowardice, there’s generallly a lack of vision, etc. etc. etc. BUT . . . for all the imperfections, the end product doesn’t suck. The projects that have made it onto the T-SPLOST list are generally worthy, and they do reflect a better mix of transportation modality investments than Georgia has previously embraced. A great deal of work has gone into this, and a “no” vote is going to set back the time frame for addressing our transportation problems. A “Plan B” might eventually be developed, but no part of an alternative plan is shovel ready. And for Metro Atlanta, every day delayed is a day we fall further behind the curve in addressing one of the most important factors for our region’s economic health. You don’t have to love it, you don’t have to thank any politician for this, but the smarter vote is to support it.

  8. Juliana says:

    Here is a link to a recent Patch article on Rep. Wilkerson’s comments about TSPLOST his town hall. Honestly it’s like a who’s on first, what’s on second follow the hypocrisy at the gold dome shell game.

    http://southcobb.patch.com/articles/wilkerson-cobb-has-lacked-leadership-in-tsplost

    After reading this, I’m unlikely to support it.

  9. Jules says:

    Pappy, I guess that’s sarcasm..

  10. Pappy says:

    Good points all. Let’s wait for our republican legislature to send a bill to our republican governor that curbs sprawl, funds transit 100%, and names the combustible-engine Enemy #1. In fact, given that this Plan B is so popular, it’s hard to believe they didn’t just put IT on the ballot! But I’m sure it’s just around the corner. It’s probably just stuck in traffic.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Or we can vote for it, and let consumers subsidize highways, give business a free ride, continue to burden Fulton and DeKalb with out of proportion regional transit expense, forfit any leverage in developing long term regional transit agency solvency (MARTA reform), and empower spineless legislators.

  11. chamblee54 says:

    I have received two robocalls regarding this tax scheme. The other day I received a call from a live human. She was “taking a survey” about the tax scheme, but turned out to be a clumsy sales pitch. I am dreading the time between now and the election. Living in the territory for the proposed Brookhaven/Ashford, it will be double whammy.
    If I vote for the tax scheme, it will be in spite of the clumsy marketing.

  12. CatherineAtlanta says:

    I am leaning against, mainly because I think it’s a dumbass way to approach the problem. Let’s say all but one “region” votes for it, what happens to the transportation that has an impact on the “nay” and adjoining regions. It further divides Georgians when we should be focusing on the things we have in common.

  13. griftdrift says:

    Just an FYI. All of Georgia is voting on TSPLOST in July. But there are 12 different regions. Jackson County is in the Northeast Region, completely separate from the Metro Atlanta vote.

    • Jen B. says:

      Thanks! I meant included in our vote because when I read “Northeast Georgia,” I read it as “North Georgia” and thought that was ours.

  14. Trevor Southerland says:

    I’m probably going to end up voting yes…

    But I’m with Gunner here… the whole holding voters hostage thing isn’t cool… I mean, don’t we elect these people so that we’re a representative democracy not a direct democracy?

    Currently where I live in North Cobb there’s not really anything good out of it for us… but there’s some decent things in town…

    To be honest, I’d be more willing to support it if it were a 2 or 3 cent tax because this project list and time table doesn’t even start the address the massive transportation problems that are crippling the entire metro Atlanta region right now.

  15. Gunner says:

    I still don’t know how I am going to vote on this. The list of projects in my area seem worthy but I agree with Jules. Its maddening that I have been hearing that “there is no plan B if T-SPLOST fails”. Yes there is. The legislature needs to pony up and find a way to make it happen. It seems like “voter hostage” (did I just coin that) either voter for this or its won’t happen cause we ain’t gonna touch it. Reminds me of the yes2save lives campaign.

    • Jen B. says:

      Voter Hostage – officially coined by Gunner circa 2012.

      • gunner says:

        Thanks! That’s coming from an attorney.

        *usage of term may not be used without expressed written permission from Gunner Hall or any authorized agents**.

        ** to become an authorized agent please send a self addressed stamped envelope and 7dollars (per usage) plus a $1000.00 s+h fee. Message me for address.

        • Jules says:

          raises hand to be a “registered agent”, please.

        • MB gotta go says:

          Gunner just makes up stuff…don’t let him use your attorney street cred. next thing, you now is that he will be sending out a robocall saying the “Attorneys in Georgia do not want “voter hostage”

  16. Pappy says:

    Future headline: “Citing lack of awareness that GA Sierra Club exists, voters pass transportation sales tax.”

  17. Jules says:

    No problem! Here’s what I said on FB:

    “I’m on the fence because there is something inherently twisted in forcing voters to raise taxes on themselves so that legislators can run around getting re-elected by saying they didn’t’ raise taxes or show any leadership on a 25 year old issue.”

    So yeah, if anyone has a response to this, please chime in.

    • Jen B. says:

      “…getting re-elected by saying they didn’t’ raise taxes or show any leadership on a 25 year old issue.”

      This also bothers me. They know something needs to be done about transportation, but they don’t want to take any heat by raising taxes on everyone and/or cutting services in order to primarily benefit Metro Atlanta.