The guest editorial from the Savannah Morning News (“TSPLOST: Fact or fiction”), in Tuesday’s MDJ has no application in Cobb and was misleading. The first statement, “every penny raised in Chatham County and the coastal region will be spent on local projects,” is nonsense. Does that mean that all proceeds from the entire region will be spent in Chatham County? Last time I looked there were 10 counties in the coastal region.
The editorial’s third point, that 25 percent of proceeds will go back for local projects, not only contradicts the first point, but is not true for the Atlanta region, in which only 15 percent is returned for local projects.
The “local citizens’ accountability committee consisting of non-elected people,” is not necessarily a good thing. It takes oversight authority away from counties and gives it to political appointees.
The editorial arguably says that the state’s 7.5 cent gas tax would need to be increased by 27 percent to raise the same amount of revenue as TSPLOST. So what? That would add only 2 cents per gallon to the price of gas. That’s less than 1 percent of the actual gas price. We see larger fluctuations than that every day. At least the gas tax has some direct connection to the alleged purpose of the TSPLOST.
The fact is, TSPLOST increases Cobb’s sales tax by 17 percent; will be levied on everything we purchase, and will hit low-income and fixed-income families the hardest. Repugnant as it may appear, increasing gas taxes might be preferable.
There is a “Plan B” and that is to vote “no,” rewrite this flawed law, create a project list that actually relieves traffic congestion and revote this in 2014.