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Schulz to hold fireside chat on TSPLOST

COVINGTON -- District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz will host a fireside chat for all Newton County residents at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Oaks Course, located at 11240 Brown Bridge Road.

The event will provide information to citizens about the upcoming referendum popularly known as TSPLOST, or Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. Each of Georgia's 12 regional commission districts will vote on July 31, 2012, on whether to adopt a 1 percent regional sales tax. If approved, projected revenue of $987,987,352 is expected to be collected over the next decade to be spent on transportation projects.

"It was important with the referendum coming up. I just don't feel like there's been enough information presented for voters to make an educated decision," Schulz said.

Doug Callaway with Connect Georgia will make the presentation on TSPLOST. Connect Georgia is a group funded by the Georgia Transportation Alliance, which has a mission of securing the passage of TSPLOST. But Schulz said it will be a just-the-facts type presentation to give citizens the opportunity to become educated and make their own decisions.

In the regions where the TSPLOST is approved, money raised in that region will stay there to fund transportation projects. A Regional Roundtable determined projects that 75 percent of the funds will be spent on for the region, with the remaining 25 percent to be expended on local projects.

Each region would delegate a citizens' accountability committee to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.

"If voters in a region do not pass this transportation tax, transportation projects will need to be funded from traditional sources of revenue," Schulz said in a press release announcing the fireside chat. "In addition, local governments in the region where the tax does not pass will be required to provide increased matching funds for local maintenance grants from the state as compared to local governments in regions that pass the tax. Also the region cannot attempt another transportation referendum for at least two years."

Schulz also plans to discuss the county budget process, currently under way for fiscal year 2013, and the recent announcement by Baxter International that it will invest $1 billion and bring 1,500 jobs to Newton.

Comments

HonestAbe 2 years, 7 months ago

Wonder if she is planning to have another meeting inviting someone to speak on why TSPLOST should not be passed? Seems that would be the fair and impartial way of doing this.I'm not saying i am for or against it, just would like to hear from both sides.I don't think an elected official should take only one side on a tax increase issue.

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henrystamm 2 years, 7 months ago

Of course it will be passed. This is a typical con job by the politicians (Specially Democrats) to hold it as a special election. Here is the outcome of this disaster and payback to the people that paid for their election, about 53% 2000 votes (government employees) to about 47% 1900 votes of retired and hard working local people. Oh ja that sounds familiar. This would never pass at the regular election day. Shame on the crooks.

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inthemiddle 2 years, 4 months ago

The republicans controlled the house, senate, and executive branch when this was passed! This was a Republican brainchild so how do you figure this was the con job of the democrats exactly? The democrats have zero say in state level politics right now.

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Silverbullet 2 years, 7 months ago

Mo Money. This regional tax is not something we should even consider. Newton is split in such a way with Atlanta on one side of the county and Athens (and others) on the other side so that any voice we may have is split in two. Gives us much less horsepower when it comes time to request funding. Who was it that decided to split our county in half for this operation? Do we not have commissioners and representatives elected and paid to protect us from such a plan? How many other counties in the state are split in half on this deal? The GADOT is constantly re-designing existing roads simply to justify their jobs. The interstate system in Atlanta, started in the late fifties is still undergoing constant re design and after spending hundreds of millions, the traffic problems only get worse. The only money the GADOT should be spending is for a rapid rail system to all outlying counties to actually move people rather than having re designs leaving us all to continue to sit in traffic. Their solutions are hopeless without rapid rail. Placed on the footprint of the proposed outer beltway a rail system WOULD SERVE HALF THE POPULATION OF THE ENTIRE STATE. But, we couldnt possibly do that because then we wouldnt need but about 25% of the existing staff of the GADOT because you dont continue to re design rapid rail systems! For almost the exact amount of money the 'regional sales tax' would bring in, we could have that rapid rail. Even if we had to partner with a private corporation to get it up and running that is what we need to do. And Commissioner Schultz, why is it no one ever brings up the completion of the By-Pass segment in the northwest portion of the county? Seems everyone but the commissioners knows this is THE priority in moving traffic in Covington and Newton County.

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