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Another view on local TSPLOST
Letter to the editor
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You have seen all the articles from our state and local government officials on how great TSPLOST will be for you. I suggest you research the Internet and find out what others are saying about TSPLOST.

For example:

Do you want another TAX for 10 years on all of your purchases? We already are paying 1 cent on the dollar local SPLOST for the local government to use on special projects without the taxpayer voting where they would like to spend the money.

TSPLOST will collect 1 cent on the dollar for all sales in Georgia from all the regions that vote the tax in. If it is needed for roads, put the taxes on gas and auto purchases and don’t tax people on their staples. But I see a lot of politicians’ special projects to build resume at our tax expense, like a fire station, master plan/airport layout plan, Coastal Coaches regional rural transit system, bike/pedestrian improvements, Chatham Area Transit operations and capital. Are these projects we need to increase our taxes for 10 years?

Local government is advising how it will help the area with jobs, but I see contractors outside of Bryan County and the state being awarded the contracts, not local contractors.

Bryan County’s list includes Interstates 95 and 16 interchange improvements. I have never had a problem with these interchanges.

The list also includes Highway 144 widening from Timber Trail to Belfast River Road, which we have been told for eight years would be completed in a couple of years, but they just started purchasing right of way. One of the largest tax bases for Bryan County lives down this road, not to mention a 3,000-site development that just started last year, but local officials have done nothing to help them.

Local officials wanted to install an alternate road to relive the burden on this area of the highway. The state DOT turned them down and said widening 144 was the best method, so local officials used our SPLOST money to build the alternate road that will open more land for subdivisions. I believe our officials need to tell the truth on where this project is and where are the funds that were to be used for this project.

TSPLOST is the largest tax hike in Georgia’s history, expected to raise $18.6 billion in the Atlanta region itself. It amounts to the largest re-distribution of wealth from the taxpayer to the state for road, rail, and environmental sustainability projects.

The taxpayers should reject TSPLOST and work within communities to accomplish those needed projects. Make those decisions at the county level, where they can be monitored closely for corruption and greed. This will ensure more of the dollars collected actually go into those projects rather than to the cronies of politicians.

— John A. Tanner, Richmond Hill

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