When you see the July 31, Hall County official ballot, take a hard look at the last item, Special Election, Referendum 1, T-SPLOST.
Inserted ahead of the question is the statement, “Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs, improve roads with safety and citizen oversight.” This is a sales pitch provided by unknown proponents and with Republican Party approval. This is, if not illegal, certainly unethical. Now I understand why the Republicans could not get an ethics bill passed in the last session of the legislature.
The statement lacks truth. (1) create jobs; Politifact’s Truth-O-Meter rated this claim as “mostly false.” (2) Citizen oversight; the speaker of the house and the lieutenant governor appoint unelected officials to these positions. The appointees have no power to control fraud, waste or spending.
The Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax is a regional option. The counties within the region have no power to opt out if voters reject the tax.
The list of exemptions for the new 10-year 1 percent sales tax is not shown on the ballot. The lobbyists have managed to get nearly all fuel users exempted and the tax is only charged on the first $5,000 on sale or leases of motor vehicles. Why don’t users pay?
But food is not exempted. I guess the food lobbyists did not buy enough votes.
Local government permitted the insertion of the sales pitch on the ballot. Some counties, such as Cobb, did not.
Please get to the polls on or before July 31 and vote “no” to T-SPLOST. Do not give up your local option on taxes.
Bruce W. Hallowell