The article in Sunday’s MDJ by columnist Laura Armstrong was precise surrounding the upcoming TSPLOST vote next year. Her article pointed out just how unfair, foolish and contemptuous most Cobb taxpayers feel about the TSPLOST concept and its potential 10-year, 1 percent sales tax increase. The one issue that she didn’t discuss was the root cause of the problem.
The fundamental cause of this problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible is the flawed structure and design of the state HB 277, the Transportation Investment Act. It authorized the creation of the regional T-SPLOST concept. HB 277 was very quietly passed and signed into law by Gov. Perdue.
A key defect in the act was allowing the creation of a metro county region without the good comprehensive foresight of considering every potential conflict of interest between each county and the resulting complex challenge of fair tax burdens and allocations for each one of them. The Transportation Act, as it now reads, has no acceptable answers, clarification or clear direction to these crucial concerns for the counties.
I believe the future TSPLOST vote is a debacle heading in the wrong direction on the wrong side of the road. If possible and if we have enough time, I’d like to suggest that we try to repeal and invalidate HB 277 before voting on the TSPLOST next year. Later on our state legislature can then create a new Transportation Act, and on the second try will hopefully apply some decidedly improved foresight and input.
Meanwhile, it is very nauseating how all the regional counties, the chambers of commerce and the CIDs constantly talk about how much money they will snatch and grab from the taxpayers. And, at the same time, they use our sales tax revenue dollars against us by using them to promote educate and try to persuade Cobb citizens that they’re not going to foolishly blow the TSPLOST sales tax revenues away on any concept that is not self sustainable. We’ve all heard that fairy tale many times before and you’d think that we would have learned our lesson by now. Hang on to your purses and wallets very tightly.