I attended Wednesday night’s town hall meeting and was shocked to learn the magnitude and costs of the proposed TSPLOST.
It would track to be the largest tax increase in Georgia history. Literally thousands of dollars out of the budget of the average household in Liberty County. Shocking was the amount of money to be spent on projects that are very highly questionable in nature: $18.2 million on the Liberty Transit system and $6 million on the MidCoast Regional Airport. That will be $361 from every man, woman and child in Liberty County for a bus line with no passengers and an airport with no flights.
The geography and demography of Liberty County will never support a self-sufficient transit system. The political power of Savannah International Airport will not allow MidCoast to have commercial flights, evidenced by their pressure on Hilton Head Airport now. And the killer: the Hinesville Bypass threatens to eat more than $72 million of your tax dollars.
I did not get the impression that our leaders had a firm grip on how to handle the magnitude of projects that will be jumping off simultaneously across the area. Each political subdivision made a presentation on how they would spend their portions of this wave of tax money to be received. The Liberty County manager outlined his projects, then showed $20 million in “reserve.” That just tells me there will be more money afloat than can be spent or even envisioned how to spend.
We have a republic form of government. I voted for representatives to go to Atlanta, study our needs, levy taxes and manage government. To place this all-or-nothing TSPLOST into the hands of citizens who don’t have the time or resources to study, understand and cast a knowing vote is not right.