InsiderAdvantage poll: Trauma care vote on life support

InsiderAdvantage says it has a poll, conducted last week, that says a statewide referendum on whether to levy a $10 car tag fee to fund a statewide trauma network — Amendment 2 on the Nov. 2 ballot — is headed for a thumping:

Forty-eight percent of all Georgians are against the proposed amendment. Only 26 percent support it, with the rest undecided. In virtually every demographic in the survey, the amendment is being crushed….

Among Republicans, 57 percent oppose. Among the critical independent swing vote, 47 percent oppose. And amazingly, even among Democrats, the measure trails 41 percent to 33 percent, with both African Americans and white voters against it.

Says Matt Towery, CEO of IA:

“The only way this amendment could pass – given the current political mindset of economic fear and opposition to paying even a dollar more for government – would be for those who are touting the amendment to completely recast their campaign by contrasting the current hidden embedded costs of Georgia’s lack of trauma centers with the comparative good deal of paying a simple $10-a-year fee.”

It makes one think that the state of that sales-tax-for-transportation referendum, though still two years away, might be a chancy thing – even in metro Atlanta.

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35 comments Add your comment

MD

October 7th, 2010
1:09 pm

Why do we pay advalorum tax,for the roads dummy and putting in toll lanes is crazy.

Jeff

October 7th, 2010
1:21 pm

Mr. Galloway,

I’m being told down here in Lee County (by the various Mayors, Commissioners, and Planning people) that the T-SPLOST vote will be March 11. That is only 6 months or so away…

DifferentDrummer

October 7th, 2010
1:22 pm

People who vote against this amendment are going to wish it had passed if a loved one out in middle or south Georgia needs trauma care, but dies before he or she can get it.

Bill

October 7th, 2010
1:39 pm

It’ll be interesting to see if voters in Middle, South and far North Georgia vote against this. Metro Atlanta has plenty of trauma centers. It’s these other regions that would benefit most.

findog

October 7th, 2010
1:40 pm

I say do like them fire fighters in Colorado
You ain’t paid the trauma tax; you ain’t a goin to the trauma center

Jon

October 7th, 2010
1:42 pm

The SuperSpeeder law was passed to pay for trauma care. Legislators were shocked when collections from it fell way, way short of their projections.

Apparently the SuperSpeeder law encouraged drivers to slow down, defeating the GOP legislature’s plans of another backdoor tax increase…

(There’s also an alternative theory about local police/sheriffs not bothering to write out SuperSpeeder tickets. Their usual ticketed fines stay local and get tossed in the city/county fund. All the SuperSpeeder collections have to be sent to the state. There’s no incentive for them to write out such tickets.)

DifferentDrummer

October 7th, 2010
1:46 pm

findog–you sure are a compassionate human being. I suppose if it’s your spouse, child, sibling or parent who needs the care, it’s okay not to give it to them.

cs

October 7th, 2010
2:11 pm

I will be voting HECK NO on all the ammendments. The super speeder fines were supposedly for trauma care. My car taxes are too high a sit is. I sure aint voting another 10 dollars tax for myself. I pay property, income, fuel, and sales taxes for roads. And we pennied out the rear where we live already with ESPLOST and SPLOST and I aint voting to give another penny much less anything more.

Ralph

October 7th, 2010
2:12 pm

I remember the days when heaping on ADDED taxes on top of existing high income and sales taxes didn’t exist. Now we are told government can’t do its job (roads, schools, trauma centers) without adding such additional fees and taxes.

I guess it is “amazingly, even among Democrats” that there is opposition because it is assumed they are ALWAYS in favor of more taxes and fees. I find THAT amazing.

findog

October 7th, 2010
2:15 pm

Double D,
I love Thoreau
Do not know how he lived in that tiny shack next to Walden Pond on MA-2
I will vote for two; however, you must understand that in Georgia too many do not know the difference between callipygian and inter-mammary sacus
To get any movement to tax for required services you must shock.
Too bad we cannot instill logic within the minds of those educated in Georgia…

Just a taxpayer

October 7th, 2010
2:26 pm

It is interesting that a republican controlled government came up with this solution. One that will be rejected by the voters who placed them in office. There is absolutely no correlation between this proposal to raise taxes with euphimistic language and the sitting legislators that voted for it to be placed on the ballot.

Bill

October 7th, 2010
2:44 pm

We’ve got plenty of trauma centers in Metro Atlanta (including Grady supported by Fulton and DeKalb taxpayers). If other parts of the state want trauma centers, they can pay for them locally.

findog

October 7th, 2010
2:53 pm

Ralph, cs, td, and last man:
Your taxes are too high?
How could that be after eight years of republican control of the state budget cutting education, transportation, and everything else?
Had it not been for the poor math skills of those that play the lottery we would be back to one-room schools and college only for the privileged rich and desperately poor [through Pell].
Your car tags don’t pay for roads, that is the fuel taxes, ad valorem taxes go where your property taxes do: to fund you local government. Want lower car taxes move to the sticks.
Every republican, for every office, is promising to cut taxes.
They are complete cowards and will not raise a tax unless the Grover Norquist says its ok; Grover reviews even this “fee” before it can then be put to a vote by the electorate. Georgia’s cowardly elected officials no longer convene to do the people’s business; they do the corporate charity, and pass resolutions praising peach pie and little else.
We have devolved from a republic to a democracy, and just ask ancient Greece how that works out.
SO, Republican’s please tell me what is the minimum tax we should pay?

Ralph

October 7th, 2010
3:01 pm

Yes, Georgia taxes are too high. 6% income tax is the highest in the Southeast. People who have a choice avoid it, and industries which recruit workers understand the disincentive. At least the Republican government has increased exemptions.

Sales tax rates have been on a steady rise to pay for expanding, bloated government despite that such revenue increases with natural sales growth. Republicans rarely ratchet these things back from Democrat increases – they just slow or halt expansion.

findog

October 7th, 2010
3:14 pm

Ok Ralph,
The question at hand is what should the minimum taxation be?
Zero for income like Florida, with an extra 20 cents a gallon for gas, and even more hotel fees than we already have?
What is the minimum?
And you cannot cop out with cut spending because after eight years the republican’s should have weeded out the waste, fraud, and abuse…

Ralph

October 7th, 2010
3:35 pm

Georgia should certainly reduce or remove the income tax. The non- and under-reporting of income along with the underground economy is putting the burden on honest taxpayers. Sales, property, excise (gasoline) taxes are the other major revenue streams with toll roads now being pushed. I can’t answer your “minimum taxation” question, but there is certainly a Laffer curve where we are too high on it. Maximizing revenue with lean government and being competitive with neighboring States should be the goal, but politics get in the way. No cop out – there is still huge bloat in government, but buying votes and giving jobs to family, friends and benefactors is done by both parties – with Democrats being the worst offenders.

The poll that started this conversation is symptom that the electorate is fed up with all of these added special tax a fee schemes. The current toll road trial balloon is probably in trouble, too.

findog

October 7th, 2010
4:11 pm

ok Ralph,
honesty is certainly appreciated
I was at a forum last year on transportation with Gean and the leg leaders; Jim was there too
Funny thing was watching the republicans squirm and the democrat from the state senate sat there and tarred them with the tax hike for transportation; I knew right then that nothing was going to happen, other than continued degradation of roads and quality of life…

Really?

October 7th, 2010
8:10 pm

In typical fashion, the general public continues to disappoint me. I am Georgia born, but may soon leave our fine state, as I can no longer tolerate such stupidity. Off all of the taxes, tolls, and other nickel and dime schemes that we are forced to pay in to, Trauma Care is the one that actually provides some good for the citizens of this state. Too bad that this too will loose out to the pervasive, malignant ignorance that has gripped the citizenry of our fine state. You deserve what you get, what a pity.

Lynn43

October 7th, 2010
8:22 pm

I buy 3 car tags per year, and I have no problem with paying $30.00 extra for medical help for others. My problem is this plan is too vague. When we vote on splosh or esplosh, every project in order of implementation is presented therefore, you know exactly what will happen when money is available. To the people introducing this fee, do your homework and planning, then present a legally binding plan to which these monies will be funneled. If presented this way, it might pass.

TnGelding

October 7th, 2010
8:41 pm

It will pass. $10 up front is a heck of lot better than thousands on down the road. The way we kill and maim on the highways demands action. Thankfully we have shown improvement.

p

October 7th, 2010
9:09 pm

They don’t have trauma care in Honduras. They don’t pay much in taxes. Life is simple. Not many libraries, not many firemen or fire trucks, no garbage collection, no sewers, police protect only the folks that pay bribes, roads are primitive and dangerous and not maintained. No parks except those left from Spanish colonial times, no forestry department because all the forests have been cut down, no veterans hospitals, no agricultural extension services and the universities are nearly bankrupt, no care for the mentally ill, and public schools are shoestring operations.. The best real estate is owned by the very wealthy and their cronies. The people in power are those with the most/best artillery.
Most people live in shacks, except the wealthy, who live behind barbed wire fences or high walls. From all appearances, this type of society is what the Republicans desire for us. No government. No government services, no quality of life, no civilized amenities. For decades they have been propagandizing the electorate that taxes are bad. Period. End of discussion. Who cares if our civilization crumbles. The sheep-like electorate has bought into the program and wants to live like they do in Honduras. Or Somolia. Good luck when you get hit by a car, folks.

Robert

October 7th, 2010
9:18 pm

I don’t know about a year from now but if the election on the sales tax for transportion were held today, I promise it would be in trouble. Government needs to get its fiscal house in order.

Robert

October 7th, 2010
9:26 pm

The idea that everyone who thinks that goverment spending is out of control is somehow “opposed to a quality of life” is foolish. In the past two years our government has extended its spending beyond all reason even as we the people have had to get by with less. Government must also trim it’s spending, starting from our resouces, not from our desires.

Stewart

October 7th, 2010
9:42 pm

The state needs a trauma network. Grady itself is (still) underfunded, and to top it off it has to handle people being sent in from all over the state. One of the key prognostic determinants with trauma care is the time it takes to deliver the patient to a proper care facility – time that is significantly lengthened by needed transport to Grady. Remember, Grady is the only Level 1 trauma center north of Macon. Thus the current situation puts both Grady and patients at a disadvantage.

Jason

October 7th, 2010
10:21 pm

Maybe a year ago I would have voted for this but the legislature jacked up my tag fee by $35 per year. I’m not throwing another $10 on the pile. Sorry lawmakers, you have priced this idea out of the market.

Dead peasant

October 7th, 2010
11:53 pm

Really? @ 8:10 p.m.: I’m right behind you. I have lived in this state for 52 of my 53 years. It’s incredible and sad how much Georgia has regressed, especially during the last eight years. I know, I know–”Delta is ready when you are.” Well, just as soon as I can find a job in a more enlightened state of this Union, then I’m ready for Delta, one-way.

Pride Not Whine

October 8th, 2010
10:13 am

I am not speaking as a Republican or a Democratic, heck not even as a born and bred Georgian. But as an American who knows the three basic promises WE, as in the PEOPLE, have made to ourselves.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are not empty words, at least not to me. It should not be to US.

If it takes a $10 fee to ensure that every person has the opportunity at Life, then WE have an obligation. One WE should stand with pride that WE are doing the right thing.

Now after that if WE want to take a look at the way the government spends the rest of the money they collect from us. Then fix those problems, well that’s too it right and proper. But don’t whine about doing the right thing when it knocks at your door, that’s just uglier than home made sin.

BW

October 8th, 2010
10:48 am

The shortsightedness in general on this blog is mystifing. No taxes aren’t the answer but unfortunately no one can even have a conservation because alot of people have regressed into children. Stop the spending, no more taxes…both of these parties are bankrupt. I don’t think you people really want to live in a world without any middle class. This recession is allowing business to fundamently reshape its labor needs….technology and efficiency is what it’s all about now. No American is going to just be handed a job anymore…we are fully into our service sector economy where specialization through education or vocation along with luck are the only keys to one’s prosperity. God help us all because the gridlock during the next two years minimum is going to be so severe that the worst is yet to come but please continue to blame the Dems or the Repubs instead of yourselves if it helps you rest a little easier one more night.

Tracey

October 8th, 2010
12:41 pm

I’m already annoyed at having to pay taxes year after year on something I only purchased once. Why do they think that most people would welcome adding on another $10 to the bill? An adequate trauma care network is important but trying to raise money for it through laws that consumers already have heartburn with is not smart. Our legislators need to get a clue!

Alabama Communist

October 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

No doubt the Trauma Tax will need Trauma Care after the beating it is going take!

Tired of BS

October 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

We are taxed to death already. I don’t want to be taxed for something I will not benefit from. This tax isn’t for people who pay their taxes…… it’s for all the looters that benefit from my taxes.

Lynn43

October 8th, 2010
11:45 pm

I am absolutely amazed at the attitudes of you venters.

songbird

October 13th, 2010
5:12 pm

Tired of BS – your comment is BS!

UGA man

October 13th, 2010
5:27 pm

ATTENTION!! The reality of the situation is this: the upper income individuals in this country are NOT paying their fair share. They are NOT paying enough taxes, and NO, this should NOT be controversial. The top rate under Eisenhower averaged roughly 90 percent, typically hitting individuals making $200,000 a year or couples making $400,000 a year. In 2010 dollars, that’s equivalent to $1.6 million for an individual and $3.2 million for a couple. Someone making the 1954 equivalent of $186,825 in today’s money would have paid a tax rate of 59 percent back then.

It’s simple, if those who make their VAST amounts of wealth off of the rest of us would actually pay their fair share, squabbling over a danged, measly $10 wouldn’t be an issue!!!!

Wake up people! Educate yourself, and actually USE your critical thinking skills.

UGA man

October 13th, 2010
5:28 pm

To be clear, that 90% is a MARGINAL tax rate.