9/23: No easy path on transportation tax decision

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Transportation is key to quality time. Traffic jams can mean missed soccer games, family dinners and PTA meetings.

That’s where next year’s vote on the additional penny sales tax for transportation comes in.

Supporters such as Post Properties CEO David P. Stockert,  say passage will help Atlanta’s business and home life.

Personally, I’m still trying to make up my mind.

Read what we have to say and then comment below

25 comments Add your comment

ScrewedAgain

September 23rd, 2011
8:46 am

Why is the argument always what we can get for more taxes.

Want transportation funded? Find out how we transfer money from other projects from already in place taxes.

These politicians and beaurocrats always think more taxes for more worthy purpose. Let them re-divide the amazing amount of taxes already on the books. Oppose ANY TAX INCREASE for ANY purpose.

Miltonite

September 23rd, 2011
8:31 am

You got that right, Uncle Milton. It takes cojones to raise taxes during a recession with skyrocketing inflation, but these people have no shame. Every day new stories are coming out about the misuse of public funds. Hey, I thought we were a red state?

NRBD2

September 23rd, 2011
8:07 am

Enter your comments here

NRBD2

September 23rd, 2011
8:07 am

We already pay enough in taxes. If they have anything left over from what they currently steal from us, I have no problem with them spending money on something like this.

But let’s get real….

It might start out as a 1% increase, but within 2 years they’ll be broke already and demand another 1% increase….and on and on and on.

Shar

September 23rd, 2011
7:57 am

I grew up in New York City, which would not function without its public transportation system. I have wanted a viable, effective, efficient public transportation system since I moved to Atlanta 30 years ago, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the TSPLOST when the promise was to move more people out of their cars by providing, finally, a good alternative.

Then I saw the list.

Georgians already pay millions and millions of dollars in gasoline taxes, which are supposed to continually upgrade roads yet which seem to be wasted on crony projects that benefit the developers and the politicians instead of those of us who pay for them. Due to the waste and corruption at GDOT, we are now being asked to fund – for the second time – actual road improvements they have already stolen the money for. NO.

The cost estimates are absurd. Seven million dollars to fix the intersection at Moreland/Briarcliff and Ponce de Leon? I drive it often and yes, it’s awful, but SEVEN MILLION? The costs grow worse as the projects increase in size – hundreds of millions to fix one interchange. Who is doing these estimates, and how many palms have to be greased for the public to see any benefit?

Most disappointingly, the public transportation options are bad. MARTA is to continue just as it is, without rationalizing routes or expanding service to try to make using it an attractive alternative. The Beltline is a nice tourist attraction, but it will never, never be a “transit alternative” because it doesn’t go where people need to be. It’s an urban carousel, continuously circling the City but never getting anywhere. I support it as parkland and recreational space, and I think it would be of benefit to Atlanta, but it is not worthy of inclusion in a transportation tax. Worse, the money that has already been expended has been monumentally wasted on appalling land purchase prices and contemptible overstaffing, so the project has languished in debt almost since it was approved, yet there has not been a single word of explanation from the mayor’s office or the City Council. The light rail proposals would help, but they are underfunded – the obvious tactic being to spend a huge dollop of public money and then force additional funding in order not to waste what has already been spent.

The state, regional and city governments have already proved, again and again, that they are not trustworthy in spending the huge pots of money the taxpayers have already provided for transportation, using them instead as slush funds. Now they want more, and for projects that either should have been funded elsewhere or that are pointless.

I’m so sorry to say it, but I’ll be voting no.

Sallie

September 23rd, 2011
6:39 am

I completely agree that “transportation is the key to quality time” If the projects part of TSPLOST were all about helping Atlantans get home faster it would sail through the voters. But, the politicians and some groups have carved out big bucks for purposes that are more political, more parochial and less about moving traffic better.

The politicians talk about traffic when they want our votes but they earmark the money for projects that don’t accomplish the purpose.

From what I have seen, TPLOST is dead.

MiltonMan

September 22nd, 2011
10:08 pm

Nothing like throwing away more of our money to politicians.

Count on me voting no

Uncle Milton

September 22nd, 2011
10:05 pm

Note only big corporations and big business that will make $$$ off the 10 year tax support this. You don’t raise taxes on the people during a recession. Unless of course you are big business and can hide your money offshore. Isn’t crony capitalism?

Laurie

September 22nd, 2011
9:44 pm

Between the transportation, education, and whatever other SPLOST they can come up with, we’ll be paying 8%+ sales tax. Texas has 8.25% sales tax, but they don’t have a state income or ad valorum tax. At some point you have to ask how our current tax dollars are being used. Seems to me Georgia is not making the best use of the money already flowing into the coffers. That’s why I’m voting NO to any SPLOST on my ballet come 2012.

Jeff

September 22nd, 2011
9:07 pm

Is this similar to the 400 toll that was supposed to go away after it was paid for? Why don’t you just divert that money?