Dalton’s Mayor David Pennington Says “No” To T-SPLOST

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.

David Pennington

Mayor of Dalton



  1. gt7348b says:

    Actually, train cars are made in the United States. The Atlanta streetcars are being produced in Sacramento and part of their electrical systems are developed and created up in Alpharetta. True, the company that makes them is Siemens, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t made here. In fact all US transit vehicles that utilize federal funds must meet Buy America requirements (forgive me if I don’t know the details) and the United States has a large and independent bus manufacturing sector.

    Part of the reason for the disappointment with Gov. Scott Walker returning the High Speed Rail funds for Wisconsin was that Talgo USA was going to locate their US manufacturing facility in Wisconsin.

    Just saying, they’re are plenty of legitimate points to make about a pro or con position; no need to make patently false statements.

  2. r130211 says:

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m sure you will), but aren’t elected officials supposed to stay neutral on this issue? I attended a meeting about it last night and the city commissioner in my county who was leading discussion about TSPLOST said that elected officials were forbidden by law to speak for or against it. Maybe it doesn’t apply to mayors.

    • Charlie says:

      That’s kind of funny, because Cherokee County seems to be filled with guys that voted for it and now are speaking very loudly against it.

    • bobspolitics says:

      Only elected officials who put the ballot referendum on the ballot. So county commissioners who vote to put this measure on your ballot are not supposed to take a position publicly.

      Mayor Pennington has nothing to do with whether or not this referendum is placed on the ballot only the Whitfield County Commissioners.

  3. Dalton and Whitfield County have a 5% sales tax, lowest in NW Georgia. Last year voters rejected a renewal of the SPLOST, and the school system held off on an ELOST vote to support the SPLOST vote. That’s 1% on groceries and 5% on everything else. Why mess with a good thing? They’ll get the ELOST back and stick to 6%.

    Whitfield leaders are opposed to it because they’ll be paying more in than the county gets back. In Walker we’re against it because $20 million of the $34 million on our project list will go to something ridiculous; a five-lane road to the state line where it ends in somebody’s yard.

    — LU

  4. seekingtounderstand says:

    This Mayor has stated what folks are thinking about this one party state of Republicans and what has happen to us. After the election it really will be republican dominated state.
    Georgia has suffered greatly and the republicans want to take more fromt those who least can afford it to give to their friends with TSPLOST.
    With what our state has been thru who could possibly trust them to do the right thing with a new tax.

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