Editor, Notice how a chain of falling dominos can be stopped by removing just one or two pieces?
I have proud memories of my parents. They paid only property, school and sales taxes yet they built and maintained our schools, hospitals, libraries, city buildings, police and fire departments, roads, highways and other services. They did so without hospital or development authorities, lotteries, SPLOST, E-SPLOST and now T-SPLOST. In short, they built this country and a flourishing economy.
Today, the same taxes my parents paid still exist, as do all the additional taxes I just described. Yet there seems to be a problem with maintaining the things my parents’ generation built and the standard of living they bequeathed to us.
They want to build a bypass, expand Highway 84, improve a failing airport and pour money into a poorly used transit system. But they won’t pave one dirt road for the citizens who have been paying taxes and have been denied equality in their quest for the American dream.
E-SPLOST, school taxes, lottery funds and a large percentage of the state budget go to education. Yet we rank 11th for money expended, 22nd for education efficiency, and 32nd for education output (quality). Our quality of education has declined since my parents’ day, but the trappings increase.
Nationwide, $104 per person is spent for fire protection. That sum is $80 in Georgia $80 and $9 in Liberty County. Thought provoking?
SPLOST originally was approved to provide relief from property taxes and maintain our roads and infrastructure. From 1994-1999, 44 percent went to roads. Now, in our current SPLOST period, 28.9 percent goes to roads. Of course they state we need T-SPLOST because they are reducing the allocations for roads and increasing the trappings of government in SPLOST.
As a voter, I notice they are not really soliciting the citizens’ support. They need to include threats of not getting service and — my favorite — “We will have to raise your property taxes.” Anyone looked at your home assessment this year? Mine went up, and I am surrounded by unpaved roads.
Maybe voters should be required to read “Animal Farm” before casting their ballots.
Remember the dominos on July 31. Remove a couple of pieces: current officials and T-SPLOST.
— Terry Doyle