T-SPLOST ‘no’ vote comes with a cost

Voters in Fayette and Coweta counties mirrored the sentiments of voters in the Atlanta Regional Commission and Three Rivers Commission areas on July 31 in just saying “no” to the 10-year regional transportation T-SPLOST proposal. The vote failed 63 percent to 37 percent in the ARC and in the Three Rivers area it failed 69 percent to 31 percent.

But there is a bit more to the issue because, according to the T-SPLOST legislation, the counties in the regions that failed to pass the T-SPLOST will be required to put up a 30 percent match for local projects approved for state assistance by the Ga. Dept. of Transportation, as opposed to the 10 percent match requirement that was previously in place under the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program that replaced both the Local Assistance Road Program (LARP) and the state aid program .

“The coercive nature of this law is unthinkable. Our state leaders should not hold our own fuel taxes hostage because ‘the people’ voted down a bad referendum. Nor should they incentivize voting for a terrible bill,” said Transportation Leadership Coalition member and Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown. “One penalty clause is bad enough, but two penalty clauses in legislation proves a sheer lack of faith in their own plan.” 

Commenting Friday, Rep. Matt Ramsey said there is a significant interest in the House and Senate, and from Gov. Nathan Deal, in looking at repealing the 30 percent match portion of the law.
“I think we should revisit it January and take a strong look at the (30 percent match) and the entire law in light of the vote,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey also noted that, as it stands today, the LMIG program currently has only a small pot of money due to previous budget cuts.

Voters in the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission area that includes Fayette County defeated the initiative 62.67 percent to 37.33 percent, according to the Ga. Secretary of State’s office. Those numbers could change somewhat since, as of press time, the votes from Fulton County had not been posted.

Voters in the Three Rivers Commission area that includes Coweta County showed even more reluctance to approve the T-SPLOST plan with 69.28 percent casting their ballot against the measure compared to the 30.72 percent in favor.

A further breakdown showed 77.45 percent of voters in Coweta County and 76.48 percent in Fayette County rejecting the T-SPLOST.

In all, nine of the state’s 12 regional commission areas said “no” to the 10-year 1-cent initiative.

“The voters of Georgia have spoken, and I will continue to do what I have done since I became governor: Work in consultation with state transportation leaders, legislators and local officials to establish our priority projects,’ said Gov. Nathan Deal. “There will be belt-tightening. It’s certainly disappointing that we won’t have the resources to accomplish all the projects needed to get Georgians moving quicker, but it does force state officials, including myself, to focus all our attention on our most pressing needs. For example, T-SPLOST contained $600 million to rebuild the Ga. 400/I-285 interchange. We will face significant challenges in that corridor if that doesn’t get fixed, particularly after the tolls come down and volume increases. We’ll have a ‘need to do’ Transportation Improvement Program list, but not a ‘want to do’ list. In addition to tight state budgets, we’re also facing a significant reduction in federal funds so tough choices await.”

Pertaining to the metro Atlanta area, Deal on Aug. 1 said the “no” vote slams the door on further expansion of our rail network any time soon.

“Neither I nor the Legislature has much of an appetite for new investments until there are significant reforms in how MARTA operates,” Deal said.

conditon55
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No Grand Statement

There was no grand statement in the TSPLOST Vote. It failed on the merits.
Transit folks voted it down because of lack of a viable strategy for transit.
The anti transit crowd voted it down because it contained transit at all.

But Altanta traffic situation still sucks. And the Marta situation is still abysmal, not because Marta is a bad idea. It is one of the few things notable about Atlanta. But the charter cripples the system and undermines the long term viability of the system . But really, are you going to shut it down ? Through away billions of dollars in investment that would cost twice that to replace? Really ?

One project in Tsplost was $600 M to redo I285 and GA 400. That work will still be done - just not funded by TSPLOST. And may be not $600 M worth. Same with I85 and GA74 improvements. They will be done too.

Transit (roads and rails) is long lead time - to define the projects and execute them. And they consume huge $$$$.

TSPLOST is a crappy way tot ry to pay for it. The people could see that.

Georgia has a problem about how to prioritize projects and who decides. That is the problem that needs to be fixed in Atlanta this winter. And please fix the Marta charter.

That and there is a Concept 3 plan. Time for a Concept IV. Please.

Georgia Patriot
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deleted

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Georgia Patriot
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Repeal this Garbage

Or in November we will Repeal the Legislators that don't! GP

efdrakejr
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No You Won't

Most of these guys won their primaries on the same day that the TSPLOST was defeated and either have no opposition or token Democratic opposition in November. Besides, they don't go into session again until January and they will drag you along with promises through November. The question they have to ask themselves is if you will still care in 2014.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: A Bit Misleading, Gene

Legislators only get paid about $17K plus any per diem for missing about 3 months of their jobs. That eliminates a lot of potential candidates.

There have been times when they could not find anyone to run, either party, in certain Districts.

Do you realize how large a treasure chest many have built up from special interest backers like developers and developer related manufacturers and suppliers?

How about the cost of running for a seat? Who can pay for that without the backing?

They do care and having talked to a number of them they are back peddling from HB277 and the 30%, rapidly.

Even Deal is now very vulnerable next election.

No names here, but some started in support or saying the voters will decide. Now, they are declaring the need to repeal it.

Nor will this be forgotten. At a District 3 Meeting, the end of June, some ARC leadership were talking about getting started on getting it back on the ballot in 2014. Others are talking about a District wide tax at the pump. Others are really pushing the Regional Transit Committee.

They will keep this alive.

Will be interesting, to say the least.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Haddix - You

Seem to know quite a lot about the state legislator's job. Perhaps you can move to a district far enough away where they don't know of your illustrious career here and get elected.

Why a man with your judgment would fit right in down there under the Golden Dome. Just think of it, from gas golf carts to real power issues like contracts for concrete, roads, regional planning commissions. The possibilities are endless and all for $17,000 a year!.....plus the power and all that that could bring you, simply makes your head spin doesn't Mr. Haddix?

You can get a whole lot of help with loading up the U Haul, why I would be first in line.

Just let us know when you want to slither out of town.

yellowjax1212
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Vulnerable?

Wow, speaking of vulnerable.
How 'bout that 10K you owe the PTC taxpayers?

mudcat
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I guess he his half indian - he do speak in some kinda code

Why is this man our mayor? Can somebody please tell me.

MYTMITE
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Unless this feeble mind remembers incorrectly, the people went

to the polls and voted for him----just like they did back when the old regime got voted in.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Chamber

How is it going on those Chamber issues, mudcat?

yellowjax1212
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Cash or Check?

Will you be paying the 10K in cash or check (cashier's check only)?

Georgia Patriot
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YES.......WE WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Small government Constitutional Conservatives are ON FIRE!!!!!

2010, 2012, 2014, it doesn't matter, we WILL FIX THIS MESS FOR OUR CHILDREN!

-GP

efdrakejr
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That's Great...

..but it's not what you said. You said you would "repeal" them in November and you most assuredly will not.

Georgia Patriot
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Repeal

You may be correct about 2012, but ......did I say 2012? Legislators (and the Governor) WILL be held accountable!

Look, we know what we are doing is not a quick, easy fix, be it state, local or national but everyone I know is more motivated than I have ever seen!

2010 nationally was just a small taste of what lies ahead.

We are going to make positive changes in America for our children and grandchildren. GP

Cyclist
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Costly "No" Vote
Ben Nelms wrote:

Commenting Friday, Rep. Matt Ramsey said there is a significant interest in the House and Senate, and from Gov. Nathan Deal, in looking at repealing the 30 percent match portion of the law.
“I think we should revisit it January and take a strong look at the (30 percent match) and the entire law in light of the vote,” Ramsey said.

2009-2010 Regular Session
[HB 277] TSPLOST

House Vote #887 (ADOPT CCR)
Yea (Y): 141Nay (N): 29Not Voting (-): 4Excused (E): 6

Y :RAMSEY, 72ND

Why the _______ was this not addressed in the original POS bill. What the _______ is going on during these Legislative sessions???? Does anyone there read these things?????

AtHomeGym
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TSPLOST Legislation

The Legislature should be ashamed of themselves to enact a punitive law if citizens don't agree with certain proposals. Shame, shame, shame! Doesn't the Governor own a Veto pen?

SPQR
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try to remember

most of them are to busy living large on the lobbyist's nickel to sweat the details.

efdrakejr
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Veto

The bill was passed and signed in 2010 when Perdue was governor so it's too late for this law to be vetoed. That's not to sat it can't be repealed.

AtHomeGym
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Veto

Don't care WHEN it was passed or WHO the Governor was--Veto pen should have been used in my view. Or just say "not good enough" and send back to committee.

CI5835
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An ugly duckling is still an ugly duckling no matter what you

call her...

It matters not whether the TIP list is called "need to do" or "want to do"...

It's still full of projects like the "600 million dollars" GA 400/I-285 Interchange improvement which last time I checked (when I read the DOT T-SPLOST project list) was to cost "450 million", which will come in WAY over budget and take WAY too long to complete. The GA 400 project wasn't even going to be started until something like 2022 and not completed until 2030 (more like 2035)!!!

But of course it was one of the "critical needs" and most important projects on the list..what a joke this whole failed debacle was.

How about the State of Georgia define a REALISTIC set of affordable projects that can be done NOW, "actually do" what T-SPLOST was "alleged to do", however fraudulently through a false advertising campaign, and improve the lives of commuters and GA drivers without an increase 1 percent in taxes. Government needs to live within their means like the rest of us have learned to do, however painfully, after years of gross overindulgence. If you don't remember people, we already PAY TAXES for transportation!!!!!

And don't get me started on MARTA, light rail, and the Governor's comment that, "Neither I nor the Legislature has much of an appetite for new investments until there are significant reforms in how MARTA operates,” Deal said. WOW... REALLY!?

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