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Your Views: Road sales tax to fuel a plane no one can fly

POSTED: May 31, 2012 1:00 a.m.

In regards to the transportation sales tax, the statement, “economic development suffers if we don’t pass this tax” is not valid because Georgia has always been behind the eight ball in transportation.

But look at the growth we have experienced; transportation didn’t hinder it. Georgia ranked 11th in the country in 2010, most occurring since 1995. The economic vitality of Georgia is alive and well considering the slump the country is in.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is going to waste a lot of that money on administration, studies, etc., before it ever gets to the counties. The counties will be lucky to get back 60 to 65 percent. Which is best for your county, a 100 percent SPLOST or a percentage of a T-SPLOST?

GDOT, in the past, was a well-run and efficient organization, but within the last 10 to 15 years it has become too much of a political bureaucracy to fulfill its duties properly or be cost-efficient.

Let’s look at why GDOT is having problems fulfilling its mission. Money is one, but that’s not the problem I will remit today. Everyone wants this airplane called T-SPLOST to fly, yet a pilot and destination has not been established and the fuel to get there is not available and won’t be unless the tax passes.

So the Transit Governance Study Commission decides it is out of its ability to fly the plane and dumps it on state representatives with input from county commissioners, none of whom know how to fly the plane, either, and are not sure of their destination but know they want the money to get there.

The result will be the plane may never fly, and if it does, it may not get to its destination because of detours to form more committees. The best thing that can happen is for voters not to supply the fuel. Why should they support a tax to fly a plane with no pilot or a fully planned destination? Why should voters support a tax when the vote has been rigged by unbalanced regional populations, where two or three counties decide the vote of 11 or 12 other counties?

So why is this T-SPLOST so bad? Because those ones who will suffer are low income, fixed income and other poor. There will be no economic benefit for them as they become more dependent on government support.

Government has gotten too big, with too many programs, taxes too high, too many changes every year the legislature meets and too much interference from government at all levels.

Slim down the GDOT; renew its purpose; eliminate some programs not directed specifically at improving transportation; install strong leaders with knowledge in the field; eliminate political hacks with no experience in transportation; provide sources of revenue from those who benefit most from transportation (users) and not the poor.

Renew GDOT’s pilot license, get out of the way and let it do its job and it will set the destination and get us there. Because the rank and file of GDOT has the skills while the chambers of commerce and politicians don’t.

Vote for home rule; vote no to T-SPLOST.

Mike Sims
Blairsville


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