T-SPLOST Failure "Penalty" Backlash - Hypocrisy
I find it amusing that the "Transportation Leadership Coalition", visibly led by Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown, is advocating for a repeal of the "penalty clauses" in the Transportation Investment Act that led to the T-SPLOST vote.
The state DOT has a certain amount of funds allocated to it by state taxes and other revenue sources to use for transportation projects and maintenance of roadways and sidewalks in the State. Since the Legislature decided not to increase funding by raising taxes and putting the decision on the voters, the priority of state project funding didn't increase. To keep the state's direction moving forward for transportation planning, language was put in to say that if the voters didn't approve the projects and taxes proposed in the TIA process, the state DOT would not give the same percentage they had in the past to local jurisdictions, focusing the money back on the projects where they have decided to move forward.
When the TIA was proposed, these penalties weren't a surprise. The voters decided they didn't want to pay the tax.
Now the TLC is saying "I don't want the penalties that were clearly spelled out!"
So, you argue that you don't want regional control over transportation funding, but you want to take the money allocated to the State for state's transportation issues when they told you they were going to take it if you didn't pass the tax?
I think the State Legislature should make a simple resolution:
All revenues generated and provided to the Georgia Department Transportation should solely go to the construction, maintenance and administration of highways designated as State Routes, United States Highways or Federal Interstates. All other roads and transportation networks are solely the responsibility of the jurisdiction where those roadbeds lie.
Oh, and we're keeping the tax rates the same, because we're going to focus those funds on keeping the state network running smoothly. Good luck to you!
Problem solved - you want local control, you've got it. Complete control. Watch the complaining about local tax rates go up.
Seems simple enough to me - the fickle windsocks that are our politicians should have made sure they reminded their electorate about the changes in funding. You can't have it both ways, folks.