February 24, 2015

 At the February 19, 2015 Jasper County BOC meeting, the Commissioners were asked about HB 170 (see important information below). After the comments, Comm. Trammell said it wouldn’t hurt the county at all, but it would hurt the Schools. What figures has Comm. Trammell been given to say it wouldn’t hurt the county at all, when other counties in the State are coming up with millions in losses?

Maybe he realizes NO FIGURES the BOC receives can be trusted or are relevant. We must wonder if the BOC has even asked how much sales tax comes into Jasper County each month or year from gas sales. It would be a good bet they don’t have a clue. But why would they care if all they have to do is vote to increase those taxes by 6% and you have no say!

That is what HB 170 is all about—transportation funding. But don’t be fooled. All local money will go to the State and the State (appointed boards) will be in control. The counties stand to lose millions that YOU will have to make up.

Transportation funding is a big deal this year in the Georgia Legislature. What is strange about this is neither Rep. Holmes nor Senator Jones has mentioned it their weekly columns in the local paper. Governor Nathan Deal wants the Legislature to come up with $1.5 Billion for transportation, and the proposal will make you pay higher taxes on gasoline.

House Bill 170 (HB 170) would phase out the state’s sales tax on motor fuel and increase the state excise tax from 7.5 cents per gallon to 29.2 cents per gallon to help with “transportation” and infrastructure in Georgia. Sounds good, right? $1.5 billion would be raised simply by taking gasoline tax funds that currently go to local governments and transferring it to the state. Here’s the kicker– YOU are left making up the difference the county loses.

The taxes from Jasper County’s Local Option Sales Tax, SPLOST, and ELOST (3% in all) would go straight to the STATE with this proposed HB 170. Many cities and counties have signed resolutions opposing this because of the loss of money to the county, cities, and schools.

Based on articles in several papers throughout the State, over $500,000,000 would have to be funded by local taxpayers with higher gas taxes or property taxes to fill the gap so the State can fund “transportation” projects.

Never fear! With such opposition, the Georgia’s Legislative Transportation Committee and ACCG have come up with a fix. The local county commissioners can just VOTE all by themselves, without a referendum of the people, to raise the sales tax 6% on gasoline sold in the county. The ability to allow a majority vote of 5 county commissioners and not a referendum of the people is against all the current laws. This will be a double sales tax to make up for the money lost to the State under this “transportation plan.” The Georgia Municipal Association, representing cities, opposes the bill.

Some county commissions have now backed off of their opposition since, hey, all they have to do is just raise your taxes and tell you “tourist” and “out of town people” will make up part of that and you will get the benefit. Don’t believe any of it! You will be paying more and more taxes.

Those that support this bill will tell you this is to fund roads and bridges. Ask the question, whose roads and bridges? Again, don’t be fooled. This is about more than roads and bridges. The bill now defines “transportation” as a much broader term, adding public transportation (MARTA) and ports (Savannah). Here is what is included:

            Georgia’s Constitution requires that all gas taxes be used for roads, but this bill attempts to redefine “transportation purposes” to include public transit, rails, airports, buses, seaports, and all accompanying infrastructure and services necessary to provide access to these transportation facilities.”

Talk about expansion of big government! In Georgia, public transit is not financially viable – MARTA stays bankrupt. Public transit is a black hole for taxpayers – period. Seaports and rail are privately held business ventures.

Cronyism plays a big role as well. Thanks to the Valdosta Tea Party for the following information (and remember the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is all behind this bill like they were the TSPLOST that was defeated by ¾ of the voters of the state):

      One highlight of their plan includes “Recapitalize the Georgia Transportation    Infrastructure Bank so that a revolving, self-sustaining, loan/grant fund is created to incentivize governments, authorities, CIDs and other entities to provide matching funds for local construction of projects.”[emphasis added]

   ”Other entities” would be those Public/Private/Partnerships with large corporations that get those juicy no-bid contracts and loans through the Infrastructure Bank. Taxpayers get stuck with any losses, while the private corporations get the profits – hence Public/Private.

   Can you imagine how much fun the cronies would have with this?  We imagine it would be very easy to hide money and contracts using this bank. A taxpayer-supported loan/grant fund for unelected boards and “authorities” just doesn’t pass the smell test in America.

    The bank’s board is where the POWER lies–Section 5-1 of the bill states, “’Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank Act,’ is amended by revising subsection (b) of Code Section 32-10-127, relating to loans and other financial assistance and the determination of eligible projects, as follows: “(b) The board shall determine which projects are eligible projects and then select from among the eligible projects qualified projects.” The power grab is breathtaking. The bill authors want transportation projects decided by a small power-elite at the Infrastructure Bank.


The details of this bill are ever changing, but there is one thing for sure, if you want to pay more taxes, sit back and do nothing, because if this bill passes you will. If you want to voice your concerns contact Rep. Susan Holmes and Sen. Burt Jones.  

Burt.jones@senate.ga.gov                      sdholmes@bellsouth.net



Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.



This entry was posted in Chamber of Commerce, County, Schools, State Legislation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. LRS says:

    “Comm. Trammell said it wouldn’t hurt the county at all, but it would hurt the Schools.”

    This is probably the dumbest statement that’s ever been uttered during a public meeting by any Jasper County commissioner ever. Jasper County is obviously running an intelligent deficit when comes to competent leadership.

  2. LRS says:

    “If you want to voice your concerns, contact Rep. Susan Holmes and Sen. Burt Jones.”

    If we the people must tell State representatives Holmes and Jones this bill is wrong, then it’s likely they do not possess the moral fortitude to discern right from wrong.

    If Jasper County’s State representatives do not know any better than to support this end run around local tax revenue control, they need to pack their offices up and sneak on back home under the cover of darkness with their heads hung in shame, but then again, any legislator who will support HB-170 is demonstrably not in the corner of the local taxpayer, could care less about their sworn duty and therefore are lacking a guiding conscientious voice.

    HB 170 is just T-SPLOST wrapped up in a cheap new suit, which is to say it’s another attempt by the fascist Republican establishment and their bankster bosses to gain an even greater foothold in the local taxpayer’s revenue stream, which they can then use to divert an ever- increasing tax flow towards the coffers of their cronies and which will serve to pad their own campaign cushions, as well as facilitate a network of future business contacts.

    If the taxpayers of this state had an honest legislative body made up of truly civic-minded statesmen, there would be no need to contact anyone, because this taxpayer pilfering polished turd of a repackaged taxpayer heist, HB 170 would not even exist.

    If we the people of the State of Georgia have to prostrate ourselves before the elected petty puppets of corporate finance and beg for fiscal mercy each time one of these corporate pawns regurgitates another oppressive tax and loot scheme designed to enrich their corporate buddies at our expense, then what are these unreceptive politicos good for?

    The voters of Georgia via state referendum have already made it clear to the legislative empowered rogues who created HB 170 that we the taxpayers do not want to fund T-SPLOST, but apparently the elected marionettes could care less what the majority of Georgians want. These elected puppets want what their corporate handlers want and the taxpayers desires be damned!

    If the We the People of Georgia have to constantly defend our collective will against incessant corporate schemes furthered by captured crony congressman, then we might as well shut down the entire state legislative process and administer our own government via a web based popular vote on every bill presented. This would be pure democracy in action.

    HB -170 is just more evidence proving the Republican Party labeling itself the party of limited government is one huge noxious lie.
    The party of lies places no limits on growth of government or oppressive legislation violating every right to property they care to exploit via taxation and regulation, including the right to work, nor do they place any limits on the amount of money they can creatively steal from the taxpayers to line their pockets and the pockets of those cronies they so eagerly serve.

    The people of the state of Georgia have lost control of their state and local governments. The power of the people has been usurped by half-wit jocks borne on the shoulders of nepotism, lippy girlie-men, greedy grinning gluttons and pasty-faced dough-boys, all clamoring to sup at the public trough under the pseudo banner of limited government.

    The Republicans will tax the land, tax the harvest, tax the labor, tax the job, tax the product, tax the profit, tax the equipment, tax the inventory, tax the occupation, tax the means of communication and entertainment, tax the light, tax the heat, tax the right to travel tax the vehicle, tax the fuel, tax the roads and when nothing else is left for them to steal, they will tax the remnants of your life after death.

    We get what we allow, and as long as we allow the two parties of thugs to run roughshod over the principles of free government, we will get what just what we deserve, oppression and debt servitude under the guise of limited government.

    Preamble to the Constitution of Georgia
    To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.


    • taxdogs says:

      The Jackson (GA) paper (Butts Co) reported that neither Rep. Holmes or Sen. Jones were in favor of the bill “as it was”; however, Sen. Jones said to watch it because it was ever evolving. As long as 3 commissioners (or a majority in other counties) can vote to tax us via sales tax without our (the citizen’s) vote, everyone should be against it.

      • LRS says:

        What is the value of a politician’s pledge?

        The road to a complete government takeover by corporate cronyism (i.e. fascism) and increased debt servitude of the productive is paved with broken political promises.

        Pudgy Pug David Ralston signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge.. but, as usual little did the word of a politician count for anything other than more hot air.

        The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Database
        I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.

        What a politicians says and then actually does has always been something of a paradox.
        Ambition is not a servant of the masses, but one the self and that’s who one imbibed with unbridled ambition serves, thyself.
        Beware political snake-oil salesman bearing apples as gifts.

  3. Sam says:

    Most people agree that something must be done about our crumbling infrastructure. I just wish the state would use all of the gasoline tax for roads instead of siphoning about 20% or so to bolster their general funds.

    I also wish they would spend the money more wisely and in places that are needed. Why are we building sidewalks and bicycle lane when nobody uses them? For example, on highway 142 north of highway 278 they built sidewalk and a bicycle lane. I have never seen anyone walk on the sidewalk. I did see one bicyclist, but he used the sidewalk. The bicycle lane starts at the intersection of 278 and ends at the intersection of I-20. Who will ride that short distance on a bike?

    Let people ride their bikes in parks, supported by park entrance fees.

    Another waste of money is the trolley in downtown Atlanta and there are many more examples.

    • taxdogs says:

      Like the big waste of money between DQ and Ingles here in Monticello. What a waste. This money could have been used lots of places that actually had traffic problems.

      • LRS says:

        When the traffic blocking bicycle boys in their neon leotards start paying a highway tax via license fees or otherwise, then and only then should they be allowed any say in how state highway funds are spent. If they want bicycle trails, they are more than welcome to invest in that endeavor privately, but highway funds should be used for the benefit of those who pay the tag and gas tax.

  4. cheryl nowetner says:

    this is just like the TSLOST they wanted everyone to vote for and we were told it would help Jasper County and everyone needs to vote yes for it and when I held a debate between Jim Cole who was on the transportation board and Debbie Dooley head of Atl. Tea Party things started to come apart on the states side. This board of commissioners never seems to do their homework and actually read anything they just wait for Queen Karen to snap the nose ring and lead them down the path she wants them to follow.

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