A letter in the July 20 issue of The Times contained a curious statement. The writer said, "Is it any wonder that the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, with it's staunch record of opposing any tax increase, is squarely behind T-SPLOST?"
Like the rest of us, I have seen many articles discussing the need for various transportation projects, the jobs and economic development that might ensue, the return on investment for our country and the absolute calamity that will befall us if T-SPLOST does not pass. What I have not seen discussed is the basic tax structure as proposed.
I am supportive of the proposed one-penny transportation tax known as T-SPLOST for many reasons. But as a physician, I have a personal insight into its potential to positively impact access to health care for patients throughout Northeast Georgia.
The big push to try to educate (sell) the voters on the virtues of increasing taxes as an investment has begun. Slick TV ads and testimonials from a lot of business people and elected officials tell us about this great investment opportunity we cannot afford to miss. They really want you to agree to pay an additional $200-$400 yearly for the next 10 years.
One of the most contentious issues facing Dawson County has been the conversion of Elliott Field to a regional airport.
Lately it seems that every Georgia chamber leader and local politician is writing letters or campaigning in support of the 1 percent transportation sales tax. The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, a government agency, has even joined in with letters and an ad campaign under the name "Connect Georgia Mountains" while the Chamber uses the name "Connect Georgia 2012." Both of these groups receive well over $100,000 from Hall County taxpayers every year
Have vanity, ideology and shortsightedness prevented us as elected officials from accomplishing the purpose that we were elected to do by the people?
Having seen numerous letters supporting the T-SPLOST effort and praising its potential benefit to this community, I hope that my friends and neighbors would consider several fundamental problems with the proposed tax.
I recently saw a film clip on the news of U.S. Rep. John Lewis addressing the House of Representatives. He gave an impassioned speech about the "right" of every American to affordable health insurance.
All voters planning to cast ballots in the upcoming elections should avail themselves to the information available on their candidate of interest. You should know enough about the candidate in general to know that, if elected, they will present policies and ideas that are in keeping with what you want and the good of the country.
Georgia is weary from the recession. Despite promising signs of a recovery, more than 400,000 remain unemployed. Business owners like myself are ready to move forward but still need greater assurance the economy is coming back.
What good will come if the T-SPLOST is defeated? We may have new folks leading Georgia politics.
No more taxes! I am self-employed with income down 80 percent from five years ago. When I see six DOT employees leaning on five state-owned vehicles while one man is cutting a tree, I realize: Wow, they get insurance and retirement, too.
The road to economic recovery doesn't begin at the national level; it begins locally. The states ultimately hold the key to recovery and through four small steps we can redefine Georgia and provide a roadmap to national recovery.
Our Northeast Georgia region has a proud history of making decisions that positively impacted our growth, our quality of life and our future prosperity. On July 31, we are again facing a big decision with a long-term impact in regards to one of our greatest assets: transportation infrastructure.
On more than one occasion, I have taken pen to paper to offer my criticism of your newspaper. It is expected that we subscribers will do that. When a newspaper does something that I feel is commendable, I will also offer my praise as well as extending my subscription another quarter.