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Protest against T-SPLOST planned

CONYERS -- Josie Dean, organizer of the Rockdale Think Tank, is spearheading a protest effort against the T-SPLOST referendum that will be on the July 31 ballot.

Dean said she and members of other civic and political organizations are planning to protest the referendum on July 10, at 9 a.m., in front of 901 Main St., the Rockdale County Assembly Hall, just prior to the 10 a.m. Board of Commissioners meeting.

Dean likened opposition to the T-SPLOST to a "David and Goliath" clash, with taxpayers in Rockdale going up against DeKalb, Fulton and other metro counties. Rockdale is included in the T-SPLOST Atlanta Region, which also includes Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett and Henry counties and the city of Atlanta.

The basis for the opposition in Rockdale, Dean said, is that Rockdale taxpayers will be asked to pay more over the course of the tax than they are likely to see in return.

State economists predict that $6.14 billion will be generated in the Atlanta Region over 10 years by the sales tax. The funds will be used for transportation projects throughout the 10-county region and the city of Atlanta.

Rockdale County is expected to generate $104 million over the course of 10 years and should receive $94.3 million in road projects, making Rockdale what some would call a "donor county."

Dean said Rockdale voters should not be asked to fund road improvements that benefit other metro area residents.

"The tax is to support Atlanta and people who go to Braves games and all those things," said Dean. "If they are going to do that, they need to go up on the Braves tickets."

Dean said she hopes to attract at least 50 people to the protest march to send a message to Rockdale Commission Chairman Richard Oden that they do not wish to go forward with the tax. The group already has a permit and signs that read "Say No To T-SPLOST."

Oden served on the committee that developed the T-SPLOST project list for the Atlanta region and is a vocal supporter of the referendum.

Don Meyer, president of the South Rockdale Civic Association, said he plans to participate in the protest. Meyer said there hasn't been time for the group to meet to formally vote on a resolution, although he noted that there are no members of the SRCA board of directors who individually support T-SPLOST.

"We haven't formed a formal position," Meyer said. "We are just going to notify all the members and honorary members that the protest is being held and they are more than welcome to take part in it, rain or shine."

Don Williamson, chairman of the Rockdale Republican Party, sent out an email this week calling on members to vote against the T-SPLOST. The email noted Tuesday's anti-T-SPLOST protest and a "Defeat the T-SPLOST Rally" at the pavilion in Olde Town on July 14 at 10 a.m.

"Taxes are bad enough as it is, but we don't need to be giving our money away to other counties to help fund their projects when Rockdale has its own projects that can make better use of our own money," Williamson wrote in the email.

Projects on the T-SPLOST list for Rockdale are: extending Sigman Road to Hayden Quarry Road in DeKalb County; widening Sigman Road from two to four lanes between Lester Road and Dogwood Drive; constructing a non-access bridge over I-20; and widening Flat Shoals Road to four lanes between Salem and Old Salem roads.

Proponents of the T-SPLOST argue that regional projects outside a county's borders still benefit residents of that county. They point out that improvements are slated at four interstate interchanges -- Spaghetti Junction, I-75/I-85, I-285/Ga. 400 and I-285/I-20 -- which will improve traffic coming in and out of Atlanta.

"(The T-SPLOST roundtable) did discuss trying to keep things balanced, but they also realized that to build regional projects, they had to look more at what benefits that county's commuters than what is within the county," said Jim Jaquish, senior communications coordinator with the Atlanta Regional Commission.

According to Dean, other groups invited to participate in Tuesday's protest rally are the DeKalb County chapter of the NAACP and Unhappy Taxpayers and Voters in DeKalb County.

Comments

henrystamm 2 years, 2 months ago

T-SPLOST = Fraud, waste and corruption.

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Newtownqq 2 years, 2 months ago

Living in Newton County we had our own SPLOST election in March. Nothing has ever been said to how much has been collected, nor have any details surfaced about projects. T-SPLOST is a way that the legislature can skirt around the hard financial times that we face. If we got to vote on wether or not to raise sales tax, why do we need State Reps? The only groups that will gain from this are the construction companies

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Bemused 2 years, 2 months ago

The SPLOST vote in March was for pet projects for Mort Ewing and JC Henderson. The TSPLOST is region wide and if it doesn't pass, we are screwed royally. Transportation and infrastructure wise we are woefully behind. This is what impedes development that will bring a higher quality of life to the county. If the TSPLOST doesn't pass, it will simply be a case of cutting off our nose to spite our face.

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HonestAbe 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's see. They want all of us in Newton County to pay for T-Splost with most of the money being used only on the west side of the county to widen 3 roads so more can be built which will clutter the roads even more. Of couse the 3rd district commissioner is for it since she and family have a golf course which stands to benefit her financially. Of course the one that pushed the last SPLOST is for it because his property around Crowell and Jack Neely Road will stand to increase in value. The only way i would support this is it was going to be used to repair unsafe roads all over the county and not for special interest projects. Why would anyone want to pay so the west side gets cluttered up even more?

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John 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you Honest Abe. We've lived in NC the past 16 years - the traffic issue was bad in 1996 when we first moved hear, especially Salem Road which RC & NC should have pushed to get it fixed then, not now after the dam has broke & road funds are in short supply. Funds need to be applied to other cross county projects. Read somewhere NC is projected to generate $12 million additional taxes if TSPLOT passes but will only be allocated $9 million. That certainly is not getting a bid bang for your buck. Wonder where the other $3 million will go?

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Billy 2 years, 2 months ago

Everywhere there's a four way stop in Newton, there needs to be a stoplight. I'd vote for SPLOST, but we all KNOW that the money will not be spent where it's needed. The thing to do is vote against all tax increases and all amendments on your ballot. You can't go wrong there. Back when my parents worked for the Highway Dept, ALL the gas tax went to the HD; you didn't have politicians diverting the money to friends and worthless projects for greenies and other people who seem to mistakenly think we'll stop traveling by car in the next five years...

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Billy 2 years, 2 months ago

Honest Abe, I'm not a SPLOST supporter, but Salem Road needs to be 5 lanes, (at least), all the way from I-20 to 81, and with a stoplight at 81 as well. That should have been done several years ago, if not decades ago. I don't see that as a "special project," and since it's going to become even MORE "cluttered," whether or not the road is widened, why oppose it? Now that the WalMart has been built there is no other choice. I wish they'd make GA 36 a five lane road all the way from the Bypass to 212. Not for the traffic as much as for all the cell phone users and country folk who do 35-40 MPH on it even though it's a 55 MPH road all the way from the CVS to Butts County. Tell ya what; get a law passed where if someone is behind you on a 55 MPH road, you have to go 55 MPH or pull over and let them pass. LOL, H--- will freeze over before a common sense law like that would ever pass, but that's why we have mulitple lane roads, because to accomodate people who drive different speeds--and for those who don't know what the left lane is for you have my sympathies. Ciao

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HonestAbe 2 years, 2 months ago

Billy the special interest i am refering to is Crowell Road. This is where the 3rd district commissioner has a golf course. The former state politician who own land in this area,also stands to gain in land value if Crowell is widened and goes commercial. He is the one that pushed the last SPLOST and owns property next to where the new high school is being built. His spouse use to be 3rd district BOE. Ride down Crowell and look at all the for sale signs in front of these homes stating potential commercial. You widen Crowell, change these houses to commercial and you have gained nothing. There will just be more traffic to put into these lanes. The original plan was to widen Salam road to 4 lanes. Then it was changed by this BOC to only widen salem road to 2 lanes each way so TSPLOST money could be used for Crowell. I could go along with the Salem Road project because the traffic problem has alreadt existed for years. But i can't go along with what i believe is only a special interest project ( Crowell Rd ) that will accomplish nothing as far as fixing traffic problems but will only add to the problem on the west side.

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Del 2 years, 2 months ago

The money will be used somewhere else. Salem Rd has been discussed for 15 years.....How about Highway 81 and Crowell Rd, not even mentioned in the plan......Bad Tax VOTE NO TSPLOST

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inthemiddle 2 years, 2 months ago

Much like the Fairtax, I support the T-SPLOST. First, the people and not the legislature get to decide. I like power in the peoples hands. Secondly, the money has to be spent on the projects listed. I like seeing where the money is going and deciding whether I like the projects or not. Third, and this is my favorite, EVERYONE PAYS THE TAX. Unlike income tax, every one including moochers, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, pay this tax. The tax penalizes you for spending money and not for making it. So when the single lady with 5 kids and no job living in Section 8 housing buys a candy bar, it will be one of the few chances in life I have to her contribute tot he tax base rather than mooch from it. Get rid of all income taxes and let all publically funded programs be decided on a case by case, SPLOST by SPLOST, basis! Or just do the FAIRTAX!

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Clem 2 years, 2 months ago

I do agree with what you are saying, but I can only vote for a splost when I am able to vote against the income tax...and I don't see that happening.

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John 2 years, 2 months ago

One issue I have with your comment is that projects listed were not decided by the people. The people get to decide whether they want to pay the extra 1% that's all. Government has used funds (gas/diesel fuel taxes) for a lot of other projects other than roads (kinda' like Social Security except no IOU in the cookie jar). This T-SPLOT tax allows them to keep doing the same.

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