J. B. Manley
I think TSPLOST is an awful idea, and here’s why:
Honesty: This state government has an awful problem with honesty. I have lived in Georgia all my life, and can recall the GA 400 fight. Those of us who were around back then remember the huge battle GA 400 caused. Most people didn’t want a toll road in Georgia, so the politicians promised us to the high heavens that the toll would be removed once the road was paid for. The toll has not been removed, even though GA 400 was paid for years ago, and I would bet that toll will be in place long after all of us are dead and gone. I don’t care that people say, “Well, the politicians who promised that are no longer in office, so you shouldn’t be angry.” It was a promise, and it was broken, and yes, I am still angry about it! I would vote “no” on TSPLOST based just on that dishonorable fiasco alone.
Won’t Help: I think the TSPLOST projects will not help bring jobs to this area. Who is going to bring major industry to this area just because we pave some roads and widen a couple of others? We don’t suffer from huge traffic jams like Atlanta in the first place. Congestion is not a problem here. What will repaving a few roads really help? Our main problem is geography. Here in Upson, we are not located near major interstates, waterways, or any other transportation venue which major industry finds attractive. We are far from industrial centers, and TSPLOST sure won’t solve our primary problem of location. I just don’t see TSPLOST as a solution for any problems in our region.
Taxes: I have had it with taxes continually going up in Georgia. This extra 1 percent will bring our sales tax to 8 percent! I never thought I would see an 8 percent sales tax in this state in my lifetime! Here in Georgia, we already pay a high income tax. Keep in mind that our neighbors in Tennessee and Florida do not pay an income tax at all. We also pay a much higher gasoline tax than ever before. Combined with property taxes and ad valorem taxes, these figures really start to add up. Personally, I think Georgia’s high taxes push potential residents and industries toward places like Florida and Tennessee, which don’t completely soak their citizens with taxes.
The TSPLOST debate also reminds me of the Georgia Lottery. Back when the lottery was being debated, politicians thought they would have plenty of money from it to solve all our education woes. Some prominent politicians even promised that property taxes would be abolished if we gave them the lottery. Now, about 20 years later, our schools are in even worse shape, and the state has run through all the lottery money and wants more. There is talk of raising our property taxes to make up for lottery money that they somehow can’t do without now.
We must vote TSPLOST down, or I believe it will be with us forever. We simply have seen these kinds of broken promises too many times in the past. It is time to make this state spend its money wisely. Back before we gave politicians all this gas tax money, lottery money, and GA 400 toll money to play with, our roads and schools were in far better shape. I believe politicians spent money more wisely back then because they weren’t used to having so much “extra money” to play with and abuse. I think TSPLOST will only result in more waste and abuse, and be of benefit to no one.
Let’s nip this awful idea in the bud! Let’s vote TSPLOST down!
J. B. Manley is a resident of Thomaston.