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Oppose proposed transportation funding bill
Letter to the editor

Editor, There is a new House bill going through the state at a very fast pace, and it’s not even being discussed like any local gossip would. This is a very important issue for the entire state of Georgia. This bill proposes to take fuel tax off of your local SPLOST, ESPLOST and LOST revenue, which means a significant change in the operations of the county.
The state government would like for you to believe that a local tax — up to 6 cents per gallon — could be added. This would force a war between counties, if they have the flexibility to add this amount of local taxes. For example, if Long County implemented a 6-cent tax on fuel, that would open the door for our neighbors in Liberty to implement a 5-cent tax. And don’t think that people would not go to Liberty to buy fuel just to save a penny. This is just an example of getting more for less. This is not an intended knock on Liberty — just an example.
There are complaints every day about the Townsend Bombing Range, but there were three meetings held before implementation of the proposed land was decided on. (Feel free to request copies of the sign-in sheets to verify how many attended. See if your neighbor’s name is on that list.) Now that all environmental impact statements are done, there is more activity going on than at the onset of acreage adjustments.
I find it interesting that if this bill becomes law, the county could lose $150,000 per year (this is just a guess) because of the evasiveness of local government. Instead of trying to offset this by a reasonable $2 million to $3 million, our local government would ask for $20,000,000 worth of items that would only cost more taxes.
You didn’t like the free stone that was given to Long County to give better access to more fishing areas. You voted. You didn’t like TSPLOST. Your votes cost you an additional 20 percent match on all transportation projects. Yet voters have not voiced their opinion about HB 170 at the state level, and this bill is moving at a more rapid pace than they would like you to believe. I find it very interesting that this bill has moved this far, and it has not been discussed at a Long County Commission, school board or city-council meeting. This bill will not help Long County at all. Please email to request copies of PowerPoint presentations and other information.
After spending 4½ years being very active with individuals at the state level and keeping up with the baloney they spread, it is clear they prey on the uninformed and what they perceive as uneducated.

— Bobby Walker
former Long County Commission chairman

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