T-SPLOST no deal for the taxpayer
As one attorney said: "This (current) plan is a crap-shoot!"
We should consider a "plan B" and forget about "plan A" for the following reasons:
-- No one wants a well-heeled group of business men in charge of our tax money. In the second place, we already have a well-paid staff at the Department of Transportation and a Georgia Department of Revenue willing and ready to take our money to help MARTA, fund GRTA and repair our roads with no additional cost to taxpayers.
-- If an additional outside group were to take control of our taxes, they (the Atlanta Regional Commission) would never, never give up the privilege. Most Atlantans have never forgotten the toll gates on Ga. 400, and the promise to remove them as soon as the road was paid for. If you haven't driven that route lately, the toll gates are still collecting tax money. And the road has been paid for a couple of years.
-- Once the $6.5 billion has been spent and the Beltline (22-mile loop) and other projects remain unfinished, where will the additional funds come from? The new crop of taxpayers, our great grandchildren, will be taxed once more to finish the work that was started in 2012, and the money to pay for the maintenance of the now-10-year-old transit system.
-- There lacks mention of accountability in the plan. There should be reports, receipts and expenditures in plan A. I don't have to point that out ... it should be there. Spending millions of taxpayer dollars on expensive meals, $150,000 per year to hire a lobbying firm, credit card charges made for $10,000 gifts. You can read the whole story in local papers. Last year the city of Atlanta reimbursed the Beltline account $1.8 million for some of those charges.
-- There may be some Georgia constitutional issues that would make the program end up in litigation.
-- The Georgia General Assembly assigned their responsibilities in the Transportation Act due to the fact, according to outside sources, the Legislature could not decide how to deal with the transportation situation.
Since we just celebrated one of the documents that was instrumental in the founding of this nation, it is only fitting to point out that Americans were not fond of taxes in the 1700s, and one tax, the Stamp Act, was passed by the British Parliament, and was one of the causes of the American Revolution.
-- C. Clement Brown