|Subject: SPLOST flummoxing the voters
July 2, 2016 5:00 PM
This is Viewpoints for
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Flummoxing the voters
The author of a recent
editorial (“The sales tax that never goes away,”
6/24/2016) is all giddy in tone with the second to last
line: “Much of the improvements” (referring to projects
financed from the Bibb County SPLOST taxes) “will be
paid for by people who don't live here.” Is the author
referring to the Georgia Tech 2009 economic study that
our local politicians use in selling SPLOSTs to us?
Refresher: That study reckons that non-Bibb County folks
pay 74 percent of our SPLOST revenues from purchases
they make in our fair county. I have not read that
report but wonder how was 74 percent concocted? What is
More importantly, I am absent of the logic in making
that point and I don't believe the percentage either.
Plus, what does it save me in any purchases?
Listen folks, I go to the IMAX theater and pay a sales
tax for the ticket. After the movie I go across the
street to get a New York pizza at Johnny’s and buy a
bottle of Chianti at Wine Styles and, you guessed it, I
pay a sales tax. In my nine years here no one from
Monroe County, Timbuktu or even my old hometown of
Hoboken has walked in and reimbursed me 74 percent for
the sales tax I paid.
So, what is the point and why would I care that over 70
percent of any SPLOST revenue comes from outside Bibb?
Is there any logic in the line of selling our SPLOSTs
with out-of-towners financing them for my enticement to
vote for a SPLOST?
Finally, in my research I have found that the 74 percent
figure is inflated; using proper methodologies,
out-of-towners pay 22-34 percent of sales tax revenues
in most states, cities and counties.
Editor: Special to the Telegraph,
officials say that they desire Citizen input on
The Telegraph $280 M
SPLOST article raises concerns about the apparent
insatiable quest for tax and fees funds
officials and their desire for flexibility without
assurance of transparency in face of the
history of many
elected leaders insistence on obfuscation of their
actions even though
RFI's. from The Telegraph.
potential for 3 SPLOST's, Consolidated Bibb ;
BOE ; and Regional Transportation being
presented to the public
for vote after
the BOE property millage increase and County
service fees increases is difficult to accept with the
economic doldrums many citizens continue to
experience. Officials have a significant task /
if they expect
any SPLOSTS's to receive approval. (Throwing potential
crumbs to varying continuances will be seen
as "bribes" for
I have voted in
favor of all prior SPLOSTS with the exception of the
recent Regional Transportation SPLOST because
I did not trust
GDOT or the probable consultant "Moreland,etc."
to be sensitive to the needs and desires of the
telling us what
was best for our community, results now
confirmed by the disastrous consequences which can be
the Forest Hills Rd.
fiasco, yet to know when finished.
I have discussed
SPLOSTS with a number of people and they have
indicated varying reasons why they will not vote
for any new
SPLOSTS. My affirmative support and vote will be
determined by specific general concerns.
1. Every SPLOST
shall have a "Sunset Date".
Board shall update the Community on closure of
Dallemand era legal actions with full disclosure
relating to "Missing funds", and actions taken
to retrieve same.
flexibility wording developed by lawyers and
"real" citizen oversight shall be fully explained to
public prior to vote.
Prohibition of Bibb County to
hiring the current road consultant, Moreland, etc. for
work in the County.(Citizens deserve
that are more sensitive to the community, and not so
"connected" to GDOT through employees employment,
Citizen taxpayers of Bibb County need
to be assured that the proposed projects within the
SPLOST's are needed
and the funds
raised will not be a cash cow "piggy bank" for elected
officials to utilize as they desire.
Do not tell us
that "someone else" will be paying much of the taxes
without acknowledging that our Bibb sales receipts
will have no
such tax reduction in bill owed including a SPLOST'
Arthur D. Brook
Captain Kell Drive.
Macon, Ga. 31204.
If the Macon-Bibb County government
would like to encourage voters to say “yes” to a
new SPLOST, it would be helpful for the SPLOST
website (launched 10/23/15) to contain information
about what specific projects have been completed
and at what cost from the last SPLOST and possibly
have a comparison list of the intended projects
and projected costs. If this information were
provided to The Telegraph, the paper might then
run a story about this.
I have been disappointed at times in the past with
what I perceive to be a bait and switch use of
taxpayer funds and some deafness to allowing
sufficient lead time for citizens to provide input
on projects before they become written in stone.
I understand our elected officials receive the
power to make administrative decisions once voted
into office and that you can’t please all of the
people all of the time. However, I would think
that the establishment of 10 categories for use of
SPLOST funds would give our officials sufficient
leeway, without having to resort to uncommitted
Stella Tsai, Macon