Let’s just rename Atlanta “Taxville, U.S.A.”

People in Atlanta are hurting. Many are unemployed. More are only working part-time. Property taxes are way too high. A need to draw new business to the city is pressing.

The Atlanta City Council is ready to meet the challenge. Their solution: raise the sales tax. To pay for “new police cars, fire trucks and other public safety facilities,” of course. Not police officers…police cars.

What horse hockey. How about the inventive idea of using the current vehicles for a few extra years and lowering taxes, to bring in investment and allow citizens to have more to spend?

No comment yet from Mayor M. Kasim Reed, who wants to be known as the “mayor of the small businessperson.” Maybe he’s waiting to hear from his highly paid “economic development czar.”

19 comments

  1. trainsplz says:

    Uh, can we take a poll of PP readers *In Metro ATL* who want this, as long as it’s for police+fire? I’m 1.

  2. georgiahack says:

    Couple of salient points that Pete, as he usually does, forgot to mention.
    First, this tax would replace another that is set to expire and not increase the cost of that candy bar.
    Second, the tax increase would have to go through a vote in both the General Assembly, and by the citizens of Atlanta (hey, Pete, where do you live).
    Third, to suggest that the police keep on driving the same old cars for a little longer is a bit asinine. I know quite a few of APD’s finest quite well and they will be the first one’s to tell you that there are tons of problems with their cruisers and other vehicles, like the other day when he attempted to stop a car who had just ran a red light and when he hit the gas the engine basically blew up and caught fire.
    Let the citizens of Atlanta make up their own minds about how they are taxed.

    • Pete Randall says:

      First, so what? Because the tax is too high already, it’s a good idea to keep it that high because no one will notice?

      Second, I live in the ‘ol ATL, baby!

      Third, Have you seen the cars they are driving? They are no more than 2-3 years old! I know quite a few of the APD’s finest, as well, and at least one Deputy Chief who has a nice, new polished Ford every few months in his parking space. Sorry to hear about your poor chap and his exploding car that didn’t make the news, but the cars I’ve seen are sufficient for their purpose.

      Only in Atlanta would the police need $287.5 million for “needed improvements and new vehicles.”

      • georgiahack says:

        Pete, its the GOP who say that a sales tax is the way to go. And no, in my opinion it is not too high. Atlanta doubles in size every day and provides services for all of those people who commute in. There has to be some way for the city to provide those services and a consumption tax is a good as any other.

        Glad that you live in the ATL. That means you get to vote against it if you so choose. Hell, drive to another county and pay lower sales tax. I will be voting for it.

        Maybe you hobnob with the Brass, but I tend to spend my time hanging out with the guys and gals who work the streets. Their cars suck. And by the time this tax is voted on and implemented those 2-3 year old cars will be 4-5 years old. That is very old for a police car that drives the mean streets of Atlanta everyday, all day long. A lot different than a car that drives to and from work and a few errands.

        • Pete Randall says:

          You must have missed the part where I spoke about the rank-and-file APD officers I associate with, as well. No matter.

          Sales taxes are an excellent way to go, but not when combined with myriad other fees and taxes already saddling the populace.

          There has to be some way for the city to provide those services and a consumption tax is a good as any other.

          I get it. You can pay plenty more in taxes. There are those who cannot. And Atlanta will soon ready a point where it will tax itself into prolonged negative growth.

        • trainsplz says:

          I guess so, dude. But I’d happily pay 0.70 on a $70 grocery bill for better police equipment, as long as it was earmarked. You betcha. Every time.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        “First, so what?”

        Clearly you care little for your credibility when in dismissing a factual error or worse made a deliberate misrepresentation.

  3. AubieTurtle says:

    If you click the tag for ” M. Kasim Reed” only articles posted by Pete “Rouge109” Randall come up. None by Buzz, none by Icarus, none by Jason or Jeff. Why is that Pete? Why the obsession with the “M.” that no one else uses. Shouldn’t you start posting under “Pete R. Randall” or whatever your third name is? You do seem it is quite important that everyone else knows that Kasim Reed has three names so what about sharing yours.

    • Game Fan says:

      Maybe a better vehicle maintenance program? And for gosh sake (from experience) please don’t use any type of Teflon-based oil additives. 🙁

  4. bgsmallz says:

    Highest sales tax in the country is Chicago, Il. I think the next three are Memphis, New York, and LA…but I could be missing a few. I’m almost positive they are all at 8.5% or above. interesting that the big 3 on that list aren’t hurting for growth, spending, or investment.

    Anyway, lots of noise in this post but not a lot of economic meat. Wouldn’t a higher sales tax in theory (and that is what we are talking about is theories of economics) lead to a lower consumption rate, thus leading to a higher personal savings rate, thus leading to a larger rate of investment as capital reserves at lending institutions grow?

    Anyway, I think it is clear by the list above that higher sales tax is not necessarily a predictor of doom and gloom. You could strip a piece of land in the middle of no where and offer it to free for a fortune 500 company to build their hq and say we will not tax you a penny, but I’m not sure anyone in their right mind would want the level of services that would come with that.

    “Only in Atlanta would the police need $287.5 million for ‘needed improvements and new vehicles.'”- that is pure conjecture (which seems par for the course) and only serves to ruin any credibility left after characterizing this proposal as a ‘raise’ on taxes. I guess if you had worded it “raise the sales tax back to the current level once one of the portions of the current level had expired” we could have all agreed.

    Sorry…I guess I would prefer for unsourced rambling opinion statements to be reserved for the comments rather than given article treatment. (“Property taxes are way too high”? What does that even mean? What defines ‘high’? What defines ‘way too high’?)

      • Mad Dog says:

        Oh rugby, we’re bloggers. We don’t have time for anything else but finding fault.

        Having been in transportation, maintenance is a problem. But even well maintained vehicles have a fixed life. Once that is reached, either rebuild or replace. But don’t do either on any basis other than a case by case. Some can be rebuilt cheaper than replaced. Some just are never worth rebuilding.

  5. Game Fan says:

    With the prospect of new vehicles around the corner, GF has identified an actual dis-incentive to properly maintain police vehicles. Or to treat them like they would their own. No, in fact laying out the red carpet for new taxes do the opposite. And I’m sorta doubtful that there’s any type of “safe driver discount” program in place. Methinks the incentives and quotas are reserved for “revenue generating” ventures. And catching predators or saving lives ain’t on the list. No offense intended. On the flip side, GF is always an advocate of government adequately funding the basics, like police, fire, roads, bridges, ect…

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