While it seems like a number of elected officials are for T-SPLOST, but there is one that has come out strongly opposed to it. Dalton’s Mayor David Pennington has issued a letter opposing T-SPLOST and encouraging voters to defeat it at the ballot box. From Mayor Pennington’s Facebook:
As we approach the crucial vote on the “T-SPLOST” people need to understand the damage this tax will do to the Georgia economy.
If this tax passes in all the regions it will immediately take 1.5 billion dollars out of the struggling Georgia economy. Georgia is ranked 49th in per capita income growth in this century. 20% of Georgians have lost 25% or more of their income since 2008. Our population is ranked the most economically stressed in the U.S. Most of the job growth since 2009 has been in low wage jobs. While 3% of Georgians were earning minimum wage in 2009 now 10% of Georgians are earning minimum wage, twice the national average.
The last thing we need is an increase of hundreds of dollars a year on our utility, grocery and clothing bills as a result of this sales tax. Remember it’s not just a penny, pennies add up. When proponents of the largest tax increase in Georgia history claim that this will produce new jobs, it simply makes no economic sense. Raising taxes increases the size of government, which invariably crowds out the private sector.
To see a real world, recent example of this, just ask yourself how did the Obama stimulus plan work for us? It makes no difference whether it comes from Federal or State Government, the Republican Party or the Democrat Party, government cannot be in the business of job creation. To pay for these projects, you have to take the money from the private sector, which eliminate jobs and offsets any jobs “created” by government.
In all large infrastructure projects, particularly mass transit projects, it takes years of planning before large amounts of dollars are spent. We will be taking billions of dollars out of a struggling Georgia economy and piling it up in State Government bank accounts for the first four to five years. 52% of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s money will be spent on rapid transit. This involves equipment such as train cars which are not even manufactured in the U.S. much less Georgia. The only jobs increase will be in France, Germany or Japan.
If this tax passes, the result will be locking in the Georgia economy to an uncompetitive tax structure for another generation while transferring more money from struggling Georgia families and businesses to the government. Instead of being a job creator it will be a job and wealth destroyer.
Mayor of Dalton