Editor, Much is being made of the TSPLOST vote in 2012, and rightfully so. Georgia’s Coastal Region most likely will generate $119 million per year in total tax collections with 25 percent “guaranteed” to be returned immediately to the counties within the region and 75 percent of the collections being sent directly to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
It will be used for projects on the “constrained” list after impact studies are completed. In order to understand what is really going on, you need to look at the numbers by county.
Chatham and Glynn counties are the big losers; Long County wins initially. Chatham County gets back 7.42 percent and Glynn 20.45 percent of its total tax collections; Long gets back 308.55 percent.
The taxes collected in each county are redistributed to other counties and the GDOT. The vast majority of the 75 percent sent to the GDOT will be used on large infrastructure projects. Most of these roads and bridges are in the most developed counties, Chatham and Glynn. So the vast majority of the total taxes collected will be spent in the most developed counties in your region. The poorest counties will have their taxes redistributed to the largest, most wealthy and developed counties. This is morally wrong.
The 1 percent TSPLOST tax hurts the poor, elderly and infirm more than the special interests. A 3-cent excise tax increase on diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel would raise more money than the TSPLOST and guarantee that the truckers would pay their fair share for road wear. The poor, elderly and infirm don’t drive very much.
Likewise, the dollars being spent on municipal airports will benefit a handful in the region. The poor, elderly and infirm don’t use municipal airports very much.
All counties would be better off just voting a SPLOST 1 percent tax to build your own roads. TSPLOST violates “Home Rule” of the Georgia Constitution, and it simply will redistribute money from poor to rich counties. Vote no to the TSPLOST.
— Bill Evelyn, Georgia Tea Party LLC director