The voters spoke in the Georgia primary elections, and there were no surprises.
T-SPLOST was defeated soundly in the Coastal Georgia region and also in the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission.
T-SPLOST’s defeat was a victory for the Tea Party movement. The vote also reflected a strong voter sentiment against additional taxes, a distrust in the way government is handling current spending and failure on the part of those who carried the T-SPLOST ball to sell the public on the road and transportation projects list.
Many people are simply anti-tax in this day and time when people are jobless and struggling with the economy. This is a terrible time to ask voters for a tax increase.
The bad thing about this vote is the additional money for transportation is sorely needed. Georgia’s contribution to transportation is lower than many surrounding states.
And the current revenue streams for transportation and roads projects is not going to keep up with the need in the next 30 years.
Already, North Carolina, Florida and other states are far ahead of Georgia in transportation planning and the implementing of mass transit projects.
The T-SPLOST defeat — particularly in the Coastal region — is a setback for traffic congestion and ultimately will cost our state economic development projects.
But, again, voters spoke loud and clear: No new sales tax.
Now more than ever, it’s time for Georgia leaders to step forward and develop optional plans for transportation improvements in our state. In Atlanta, Gov. Nathan Deal and Mayor Kasim Reed have pledged to go to work immediately to tackle that challenge.
Our state and our community need aggressive and progressive leadership to meet the transportation challenges in the decades ahead.
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— Newnan Times-Herald