The merits of the additional sales tax are understood because the need for improvements with roads and transportation are easy to see and understand. Can we believe this is the fix?
The argument for the transportation sales tax is based upon expediting much needed projects to be funded rather than the source of the revenue. The traditional approach for funding road work has been an excise tax on fuel, which is a user tax.
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.
So community and political organizers in the Latino and African-American communities have begun a push for district voting in Gainesville.
When I was a child, I was fascinated by the liturgy and art of the Roman Catholic Church. I would sneak into the living room on Christmas Eve and watch Midnight Mass from Rome. Being raised in a Baptist church in Southeast Arkansas, it was all so foreign! But something within it resonated within me.
In the midst of the current firestorm raging around the Confederate Battle Flag, intolerant, hate-filled voices demand the eradication of all things remotely associated with Confederate heritage. Quietly seeking but denied permission to be heard are the voices of reason which offer the love of Christ as the remedy for the angst afflicting American society at large.
On April 30, 1789, on Wall Street in New York City, the capital of the United States (at that time), Gen. George Washington had been sworn in as the first president. He and his government staff walked over to a little stone church, which is still standing today close to Ground Zero.
As I am called a bigot, a homophobe, and other names for my stance against gay marriage, I had an awakening thought: As people call me those names, they are also calling Jesus those names since He was the one who defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rewritten the long-standing definition of marriage, the same-sex population and their supporters are gleeful while the rest of us are being labeled "intolerant, insensitive and hateful" for clinging to our archaic Biblical beliefs.
A huge thank you to BB&T for benefitting Randy and Friends through their Lighthouse Project. They spent many volunteer hours working to improve the Rooster's Perch Coffeehouse, in addition to the work space where employment and life skills are taught to adults with disabilities.
Concerning climate change, Pope Francis' stance in his Encyclical is very clear. He stated, "A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system," and "scientific studies indicate that most global warming is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases released mainly as a result of human activity. Climate change is a global problem with grave implications."
I wanted to attend the Hall County budget meetings but couldn't. This is what I would have said:
The 2 percent, or less, of our population identified as LGBT are not being picked on. Rather, their bullying is being resisted. Nobody cares what other people are doing relationally in the privacy of their homes (no bomb building, please). We do care how our children are educated and about our Biblical values such as sanctity of marriage.
I have lots of words regarding Dick's column regarding our dad, but think only one is appropriate: Amen!
Last week, our country and our community received a command, not merely a call. We must reach deep inside our hearts and heads to find ways to reach people before they become unreachable, such as the young man responsible for the tremendous tragedy in Charleston.
The other day I read a small notice that our illustrious city council was considering "improving the square." I had lunch at the square the other day, sat outside and had a nice time just looking. I found the square looked very nice - nothing needs to be done.
Just like the Roman emperor Constantine did 1800 years ago, the "powers that be" continue to politicize Jesus for their own personal gain. And Christians continue to be vulnerable. Traditional theology hasn't helped much.
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.
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