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FORUM
 
                                                                               T-SPLOST
                                                                    
                                                   
Fortunately, the VOTERS did see through this "SCAM on the Public" and voted it down on July 31, 2012.

                            The Politicians and other Parasites saw lots of MONEY (and the opportunity for much more than that).

                                          
They saw much to much to give it up easily  ($8.5 BILLION to start with). 
                          
There is lots & lots of GRAFT, CRONYISM, PROFIT & shameful Political POWER here.

                They had "circled their wagons, they will be back.    And, they will have a "New Angle" on the same issue.

                                                                                                                                      
This is NOT the end!    Be READY.
Local Option Sales Tax (LOST)
                                                                                                   T-SPLOST     What is it?

It is an acronym for Transportation - Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax.  -  also know as TIA  (Transportation Investment Initiative).

If you read what the official website says, it sounds pretty good.    We all know there are traffic problems.  It implies that T-SPLOST will solve these problems.

The official site said:
     "The T-SPLOST referendum was authorized by the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 (Georgia House Bill 277) which sought a means for Georgia to make the necessary investments into our transportation and highway systems."

It went on to say:
Georgia is in the midst of a transportation funding crisis. We have under-invested in our transportation network for years and Georgia ranks next to last in per capita transportation spending. Reliable sources indicate that Federal budget proposals now being considered will result in Georgia receiving 30% less Federal gas tax funds than our current level.
On July 31, 2012, Georgians will vote on a one-cent sales tax to invest in a specifically identified list of transportation improvements in each of our State's twelve economic development regions. Each region's election will be separate from the other eleven regions, and each region's citizens will determine the fate of a new 10-year Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) on all sales in the counties within that particular region
Local officials in each region have developed a list of transportation projects that can be funded by the additional revenue generated.  Regional roundtables made up of county commission chairs and mayors were formed in each of Georgia’s regional commission districts. Each group worked with the public and the Georgia Department of Transportation to create a list of transportation projects for their region. Those projects have been vetted both by GDOT and voters through public hearings. Lists were finalized on Oct. 15.

              We did NOT see any mention anywhere of any expert, unbiased organizations doing a thorough study to identify our true
              problems and to find the most cost effective solutions that would be for benefit of ALL Georgia Citizens.  
              We did see multiple mentions of politicians deciding what projects would be included.

How will the money be used?
All funds generated through the 2012 T-SPLOST would stay in the region in which they were raised and be distributed in two ways:
    • 75 percent would go to the regional projects on the approved list (85 percent in metro Atlanta) - many of which have been on the drawing boards for years but lacked the funding to go forward.
    • 25 percent (15 percent in metro Atlanta) would be returned to the region to be used for local projects chosen by city and county officials.
Cities and counties will receive these extra funds in direct proportion to their population and the number of road miles in their jurisdiction.

How long will the 1 percent increase be in place?
If passed by a region’s voters, the T-SPLOST will be in effect for 10 years. It cannot be collected beyond this 10-year period unless the voters in the region approve an extension.

                   
Don't forget - this is what the POLITICIANS say.
                    OUR analysis is quite different - it comes AFTER this.

Why should voters say “yes” to the 2012 T-SPLOST?
Despite our fast-growing population, Georgia spends less per capita on transportation than almost any other state. This is beginning to make our state less attractive to employers and negatively impact our quality of life.  Across the state, bridges are falling apart, roads are unpaved and in disrepair, and truck traffic clogs community streets. The states we compete with for new jobs have taken transportation seriously, investing in it while Georgia has stalled.

Several prominent politicians around Atlanta were in favor of it: 
  Source
<http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19099883/mayor-kasim-reed-attends-cobb-county-untie-atlanta-rally>

Mayor Kaseem Reed said:
    
"I'm voting yes on a new tax to help fund billions of dollars in new road construction".
Reed joined former Gov. Roy Barnes, the mayors of Smyrna, Kennesaw and other Cobb County elected leaders to show their support for the 1 percent sales tax increase.
    
"I wanted to be here because I believe Cobb County really is an American success story," Reed said.
Reed wants the penny on the dollar sales tax to pass so Cobb County and rest of the metro area can continue to prosper.
    
"If we don't deal with this issue of traffic, we're not going to continue to be what we have been in the past," Reed said.
Reed believes the future of metro Atlanta is tied to how well traffic moves and said the improvements slated for each county are connected.
    
"We have a way that is honest, open and appropriate and meets the challenge of traffic that our competitors use to beat us. It will also
       provide investment to put people back to work,"
Reed said.
Barnes is from Cobb County and supports the tax.

                       Even though T-SPLOST was "credited" to the Republicans, most Republican officials were not for it. 
  Source: 
<http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/patch-survey-of-gop-leaders-shows-widespread-opposition-to-tsplost-53344e0d>

The Brookhaven Patch sent surveys to about 135 Republican Party activists, candidates and officeholders asking their opinions:
                                          Only a handful of T-SPLOST-proposed projects are slated for Brookhaven and Chamblee.

                                 
Nearly 70 percent said they are publicly opposing the referendum, with 10 saying they are undecided. 
                                   An even higher number, 46, said they planned to personally vote against the T-SPLOST referendum. 
                                   Twelve respondents said they would vote for it.


The Republican respondents offered several reasons for opposing the referendum, from the added tax burden to questions about its constitutionality. 
Some in the Metro Atlanta region don't want money from their communities used to fund transit projects in town.
Others expressed an overall lack of trust in the state to follow through on its promises.

"T-SPLOST would be the greatest tax increase in Georgia history," said one respondent.

"It sets up a new government bureaucracy. It shifts money from taxpayers of counties to others.  Nobody really knows where the money will go. It is a bailout for a failing MARTA system."

Added another:
"T-SPLOST is a tax increase that will send a large sum of money outside of my community.  Georgia taxpayers work too hard for their money to have the state spend it on projects of questionable value."

The Tea Parties distributed lots of emails that pointed out some ideas that none of the others seemed to mention:    
  Source: 
<http://www.gateapartypatriots.com/>

     T-SPLOST
  
  Will create regional appointed quasi-governments NOT accountable to Georgia taxpayers.
     Will be the largest single tax increase in Georgia history.
     Will be only the beginning of transportation-related long term taxing on Georgians.
     Does not include any funding for the long-term maintenance of the projects past 10 years.
    Will tax food and prescription drugs.
     In some case money allotted toward projects only provides for the preliminary planning and not construction of
       projects - thus assuring new future taxes.will be used as a bailout for a failing MARTA system - with a majority
       of the tax proceeds going toward mass transit projects.
     (We think this is unacceptable, especially when our government is talking about using close to
                                                    half a billion dollars in taxpayers funds toward building a new  Atlanta Falcons Stadium.)

              The following email was circulated, which quotes several supposed facts and opinions not otherwise publicized: 
              (unknown source)

      It puts many small road and intersection improvements in the vicinity of elected officials' homes
                                                                                        and nearly does NOTHING to improve THRU-FLOW on major arteries.
      It will create LOTS & LOTS of government... and
45% will go to MARTA (3,700 MILLIONS of $$) -
                                                                                                    but will do NOTHING to make it more profitable or more efficient.

     
The 5% of commuters that USE it, will be subsidized ENORMOUSLY by the 95% that DON'T use it
                                                             Only ONE in 20 will use it   and   20 of 20 will PAY for it.


      MARTA's ridership has steadily DECREASED every year
                                                                                                   and the LOSSES have steadily INCREASED every year.

       It is highly unlikely that this will do anything to increase ridership or curb the SEVERE BLEEDING of money.

      This is VERY simple: 
Where is the INCENTIVE for more riders to use MARTA?

      PLUS - They have completely IGNORED the fact that we will almost certainly have to spend BILLION$$ to put in new rails and
      rebuild all the cars that have been "destroyed" by their incompetence in not repairing wheels IMMEDIATELY when they get
      flat-spots on them 
(then, as a result, the vibrations pound the rails into oblivion and shake the cars apart).

      Incidentally, I was told, by a reliable source, the other day that the city is TRYING to sell ALL the (worn-out) cars to Baltimore -
      -
GOD help Baltimore.

      Again, we have to ask...   Why does Government want more & more money wasted on Government?

      How can it make money - beats me!


  
                                                       Finally, there comes the question:
                                                                                 
Is MARTA a "Good Idea",
                                                                  Can if ever "Pay for Itself"?

There is a direct relationship between NEED, efficiency and "Population Density by Distance from City Center".
You need a lot of people very close to the lines if it is going to be good for them.

As the lines radiate out from the city, the travel distance TO the station becomes greater and greater. 
For those outside of I-285, the diatance TO the station in usually GREATER than the distance down-town!.

Check this out:






















You can see above that:
                  Los Angeles is about 3 to 6 times LESS dense than other cities that have "efficient" mass transportation.
  Source:  
<http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch6en/conc6en/distancedensity_sample.html>

                                       It is NOT practical to expect this form of transportation to be cost-efficient in Los Angeles.!
                                       Los Angeles has a density of 2,750 people per sq. mile.
                                       Atlanta has a density of ONLY 700 people per sq. mile -
about 1/4 that of L.A.!  

                                       The line for ATLANTA would BARELY be visible on the bottom of this chart!
                                       Source:  Biggest City Densities
                                                      : 
<http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-density-125.html>


                                  SO:
                                  Only YOU can decide if T-SPLOST is good or bad for YOU and for Georgia.... 
                                  Is it a well-planned project that will help ALL of Georgia?

                                  Or:
                                  Is it NOT well planned - one that will
give BILLIONS of $$ to Special Interests?
                                  Do we really need EVEN MORE Government,
                                 
where the Citizens of Georgia
                                                                          have little or no say about how their money is spent?


                                                              There is no doubt that Georgia has traffic problems.

                                                                      The question is:

                                                                                             "Is the best we can do?"

                                                               Wake Up Georgia