Since 1985, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes have provided Georgia communities with a viable option for financing infrastructure and major capital projects. Throughout the state, cities and counties have used SPLOST collections to build courthouses, jails, libraries, roads, parks and other specific projects that could be clearly defined for voter approval.
As more Americans decry the lack of cooperation among leaders in Washington, D.C., that job gets more impossible by the day.
Inaugural speeches are known for sweeping rhetoric and big ideas, the president's goal upon taking office to offer a vision for his term rather than two dozen bullet points on the legislation he wants passed (that's what the State of the Union is for ... can't wait).
Sometimes, political leaders succeed not by performing great feats, but by knowing their limitations and working within them.
Economic and job growth. That issue was the centerpiece of last year's presidential campaign and remains the focus of all governments as we stagger from the uppercut of a five-year recession.
With the new session of Congress begun and Georgia legislators preparing to bang their gavel a week from Monday, it's a good time to examine what we expect from our elected employees.
With the new year comes the promise of change, and personal resolutions to do so are a traditional part of the turning of the calendar page.
Barring an unforeseen emergency before year's end or a political comeback at some future time, Tom Oliver has presided over his final Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting as chairman. He leaves behind a legacy of progressive leadership and accomplishment that future chairmen will find difficult to equal.
During election season, Georgia is referred to as a "red" state in reference to its reliable Republican loyalties.
No matter how you feel about the result of the Nov. 6 election, one promising result may be that the federal government finally is moving toward a practical policy on illegal immigration. After years of debate over how best to deal with the nearly 12 million undocumented foreign workers in the United States, a push toward a solution may be sparked by politics.
No matter how it's computed, Georgia's graduation rate is abysmal.
This year's Christmas season began last week with a more recent tradition that goes beyond tree lightings and turkey leftovers.
On Thanksgiving Day, we gather today with family and friends to share the blessings of a big meal, the warmth of our loved ones and a gravy boat full of gratitude.
The most expensive, contentious presidential campaign in U.S. history is behind us now - until the next one begins in about two years. As a second-term president, Barack Obama becomes a lame duck as soon as he palms the Bible and takes the oath anew on the Capitol steps in January. He will face a Congress still divided - Republicans in control of the House, Democrats the Senate.
Polls are, at best, a snapshot of how the public thinks at any given time and we can take or leave them at times. Yet a couple of recent studies by the Pew Research Center show an interesting peek into the American psyche.
The Lone Ranger rides again.
Last week's Supreme Court ruling that family-owned corporations cannot be required by the government to provide insurance coverage that includes contraceptives, if doing so violates the owners' religious beliefs, came at an ironically fortuitous time.
It's summer, glorious summer, that season when school is out and the lazy days are spent sunning on the beach, cruising the lake, hiking the mountains or taking in a ballgame.
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