When did state tax policy become a plaything for companies, instead of a source of services for taxpayers? There’s a lot of fudging in the T-SPLOST article in the current Georgia Trend. I guess that’s not surprising when it’s mostly about the viewpoint of the CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Ben Young wrote for Georgia Trend June 2012, Transportation Game Changer: July’s statewide referendum will determine Georgia’s economic future. There’s a lot at stake for all 12 regions.
“The reason our port is the fastest growing is because our road and rail network is so efficient,” says Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic De-velopment, another top RTR advocate. “If Zell Miller and other former administrations hadn’t done something to make the port more of a growth engine, we would now have little to no success in advanced manufacturing.”
Yet the rest of the article is all about roads, with little or nothing about rail, except for metro Atlanta and Charlotte as a comparison. Where are the rail projects linking Valdosta to Atlanta and Savannah, or the Valdosta MSA commuter rail or bus system? Nowhere in T-SPLOST.
It is also unclear how Georgia can sustain growth in logistics-related sectors that depend on moving goods quickly and efficiently — sectors believed to be leading us out of the recession — without strengthening the highway network, which has suffered due to lower gas tax revenues. Without an additional tax, there is no way to keep up what we have, much less build anything new, proponents say.
Um, then maybe the governor shouldn’t have refused to extend Georgia’s gas tax by 8/10 cent (almost as much as proposed the 1 cent T-SPLOST tax, but on gasoline, not on everything including food). And note “believed to be” and “proponents say”. Later in the same article:
People are desperate for more transportation funding and the improvements it will bring, but the referendum itself is complex.
Who are these unnamed “people”? The same “proponents” by whom things are “believed to be”? Isn’t it wonderful to base tax policy on hearsay?
If Georgia was serious about creating jobs to lead us out of the recession and into a national and world leader, Georgia legislators