T-SPLOST: Great idea or boondoggle? You decide on July 31

Posted: May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I’ve been thinking about the T-SPLOST referendum set for a vote on July 31. The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is one of those issues that aren’t attractive to most busy folks who are just trying to make it through the day. Who can blame busy folks? Junior’s little league and soccer games are a lot more interesting than say, where dollars are directed in a proposed sales tax.

Sure, most of the electorate kind of wakes up during presidential election seasons and are nudged by intense media coverage and political ads to get to the voting booths. But, when it comes to primaries, runoffs and referendums, most of the population takes a collective yawn. Translation: Low voter turnout.

So, who votes? It is the engaged who get out on Election Day and vote their conscience. The T-SPLOST issue looks to be no different. Tea partiers and environmentalists alike are burning up talk radio, television, social networks and blogs with their opinions. Strange bedfellows indeed, but when examining how this phenomenon took place, it makes quite a bit of sense. Tea Party members are not too happy about what they perceive as government expansion and more incompetence. Environmentalists do not like the amount of proposed roads in the plan thus feeling that traffic congestion and pollution will continue to get worse.

Despite the “policy-nerd” angle of T-SPLOST, all of us in Georgia ought to care about the July 31 vote. T-SPLOST would fund a mix of major transportation projects throughout the state. After decades of unprecedented growth, projects like the expansion of Peachtree Parkway are much-needed to relieve congestion. Yes, it would be nice to have rail line run all the way up the center of Peachtree Industrial Blvd from near the Chamblee MARTA station up to Peachtree Parkway and all the way to Georgia 400, but I’m dreaming. I would love to never have to get in my car on a daily basis again, but that type of plan is not attainable for a myriad of reasons.

Proponents say that T-SPLOST is a good start, that “something needs to be done” about our bad traffic and quality of life thus possibly jeopardizing the area’s possible future economic expansion. Opponents claim that the plan is a flat-out boondoggle. I’m still reading up on the pros and cons, but the sound of expanding Peachtree Parkway sounds very good.

  1. Wow! Very good, insightful writing! You got me interested in something that has nothing to do with where I live.

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