Ballot measure for trauma would add $10 to Georgia car tags

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By Carrie Teegardin, AJC staff writer

Plenty of Atlanta drivers speed through the South Georgia segment of I-75 on the way to Florida’s beaches.

But they might slow down if they knew what some health care workers call that portion of the interstate: “the corridor of death.”  The stretch of road earned the name because people who get in car crashes in much of South Georgia are at least 50 miles from a trauma center – a hospital equipped to handle serious injuries.

Georgia voters will decide on Nov. 2 whether they want to add $10 to the cost of annual vehicle registrations to improve trauma services statewide. Hospitals, emergency services workers and public health officials say the $80 million that would be raised every year by passage of Amendment 2 is needed to save lives.

Everyone wants a fast response when they dial 911 for help, but selling the new $10 fee may be difficult. Some metro Atlanta voters believe they are close to well-staffed trauma centers and don’t want to pay more to staff up services in rural Georgia.

The Libertarian Party of Georgia opposes the amendment, saying it would be just the latest tax on Georgians already struggling in a tough economy. The party also said the plan for spending the $80 million is too vague.

Read more about the car tag fee ballot measure.

6 comments Add your comment

JEN

October 26th, 2010
9:46 am

As a voter and fiscal conservative, I support this opportunity to tell the government exactly how to spend my tax dollars…that’s what we’re really voting on here. And $10 is money well-spent to ensure that my family and friends throughout the state (or traveling the state) have access to the same great trauma care that we have here in Atlanta at Grady and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. I’m voting YES!

No Way

October 26th, 2010
9:49 am

I agree that there needs to be more tama units available in Georgia, especially in the southern part of the state. I am against any “tax” that supposedly will generate 80 million dollars to fund them. If there were a cast in stone process for appropriating the funds that would insure that any surplus in the coffers could not be raided by politicians who may change the rules, as was the case with the 400 toll dollars, then I might vote for it. There should also be very specific guidelines as to how the dollars a paid out, what the coverage is, how the treatment is determined and large mandatory penalties for the facilities who commit fraud in an attempt to line their greedy little pockets. A state run payor service center that cannot be contracted out to a three party company connected to politicians like No Deal should be establised and the unit should be free of the controls of the lackluster DCH.

DAWG

October 26th, 2010
9:52 am

Don’t forget that we’ll be on a “corridor of death” on our way down to the game this weekend…and back again (after the win). I-75 and I-16 both have long stretches of highway that we travel where we’re more than an hour from the nearest trauma center. Let’s make sure we keep our fans safe. Go Dawgs!

voter

October 26th, 2010
9:59 am

“No Way”…there are exactly those assurances with this vote. A “Constitutional Amendment” by very definition is to GUARANTEE that the money MUST be spent on exactly what the ballot measure is for. This money cannot under any circumstances be “raided” by politicians for other purposes. We’re really not voting on a $10 tax (if this fails, you can be sure the politicians will put this tag fee in place with no guarantee on what it will be spent on)…we’re voting on how to spend that $10.
And there is a system in place to allocate the funds…it’s the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission (made up of healthcare providers…no politicians).

Larry Jeffordson

October 26th, 2010
3:31 pm

With the Obama care plan being God’s gift to heath care. Why do we need this? Heath care is out of control. Sending is out of control. I say we can’t afford it.

d

October 28th, 2010
11:01 pm

If I read the amendment correctly, the $10 is only going on the tags that don’t have the peach on them. Hardly fair. Do they think we’ve forgotten the “Super Speeder” law was designed to fund trauma care – yet it was written so poorly I can theoretically go 40mph over the posted speed limit in downtown Snellville and not flag the law. How much could we save by not building a pond or horse park in Houston County?