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Tea Parties Throughout Georgia are Opposing the TSPLOST

Originally Published Aug 18, 2011, 9:01pm (Updated Aug 19, 2011, 9:31pm)
34 comment(s)

Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, Georgia Tea Party Patriots and grassroots tea parties throughout Georgia are opposing the Georgia Association of Regional Commissions 10 year Transportation SPLOST (TSPLOST). TSPLOST is very heavily weighted toward mass transit in urban areas and it re distributes wealth from rich to poor counties. This is by design.

TSPLOST regions

TSPLOST is part of the United Nations Agenda 21 program. Agenda 21 is the integration of economic, social and environmental policies to reduce consumption and human population, achieve social equity, and to preserve and restore bio-diversity. Individual property rights are abrogated to the state and wealth re distribution is the means by which these objectives are accomplished.

"Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment." This is the opening paragraph directly from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development document entitled Agenda 21. Sustainable is the key word and its interaction with radical environmentalism. Presidents George H.W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barrack Hussein Obama have all issued Executives Orders to ensure compliance by the citizens of the United States. Governor Nathan Deal is all in for the State of Georgia.

ARC 2009 Map

One agency within the United States that implements Agenda 21 is The United States Division of Economic Development (EDA). EDA offers regional commissions a program for Global Climate Change Mitigation efforts. "EDA’s Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund (GCCMIF) was established to strengthen the linkages between economic development and environmental quality. The purpose and mission of the GCCMIF is to finance projects that foster economic development by advancing the green economy in distressed communities." Congress authorized EDA $246.0M of taxpayers’ dollars for FY2011. This money is awarded to projects where "The ‘enhancements’ reflect changes to the life-cycle process of an existing function so that the function is performed in a more sustainable manner." In other words the greening of an existing function or process. These dollars are awarded to industries cooperating with regional commissions that commit to 'sustainable' environmental green development.

Georgia is a member of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). (See Attached Map) "ARC's mission is to be a strategic partner and advocate for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia." ARC is "specifically designed to strengthen and diversify the Appalachian economy, improve the health and welfare of its people and to protect the environment." $470 million per year for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) has been authorized by Congress and portions of some ADHS corridors have been identified as high priority and will receive additional funding. The funds flow through the Highway Trust Fund since the passage of The Appalachian Regional Development Act in 1998. These funds flow into the State of Georgia once the Georgia Association of Regional Commissions (GARC) identifies appropriate projects. These projects are being identified and must be submitted by October 15, 2011.

GARC consists of 12 regional commissions. (See Attached Map) One of the purposes of GARC is to provide "comprehensive planning efforts in the areas of land use, environment, transportation and historic preservation." The Georgia Mountains Region (GMRC) consists of 13 counties in North Georgia including Forsyth County. (See Attached Map) GMRC is tasked to "foster economic development ... the need for conservation of the area's natural resources ... provide for harmonious relationships among cities, counties, the State of Georgia and the government of the United States." GMRC has developed a list of projects to be voted upon in 2012 TSPLOST. The GMRC coordinates efforts with Forsyth County through the Forsyth County council members.

Forsyth County has five GMRC council members; 1) Brian Tam, District 2 County Commissioner and County Appointee, 2) Ralph Perry, City of Cumming Council Member and City Appointee, 3) James McCoy, President and CEO of the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, Private Sector Appointee, 4) Kevin Tallant, Miles, Patterson, Hansford, Tallant, LLC, Lt. Governor's appointee, 5) Paul Kreager, President & Founder of The Heart of Town, Inc, Governor's appointee. These are the men that coordinate efforts between Forsyth County and the GMRC.

TSPLOST

At the local level Agenda 21 is coordinated by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI was formerly known as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. "ICLEI is an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations who have made a commitment to sustainable development." ICLEI offers programs to "build Sustainable Communities and Cities by enabling local governments achieve justice, security, resilience, viable economies, and healthy environments." Atlanta, Savannah, Athens-Clarke County, Chatham County, Tybee Island, Decatur, and Morgan County are official members of ICLEI. TSPLOST funds are crucial if ICLEI is to successfully transform our local communities, region, state, and nation.

According to a survey by the Georgia Municipal Association only 16% of the leaders in the 13 counties of the GMRC believe that a TSPLOST will pass in 2012. According to this survey 49.6% of city planners and managers believe voters would vote NO on the increase, and it is believed that 64.9% of the voters will vote NO.

TSPLOST is the largest tax hike in Georgia's history expected to raise $18.6B in the Atlanta Region itself. It amounts to the largest re distribution of wealth from the taxpayer to the State of Georgia for road, rail, and environmental sustainability projects.

It behooves all of us to stay on top of the GMRC by attending the meetings. The next meeting is August 24, 2011 in Toccoa /Stephens County. Four open public hearings are required to finalize the project list. A meeting in Cumming will be scheduled. Keep an eye out on the events section of this Patch.
Vote NO for TSPLOST.

Comments

34 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

Free Alien
Aug 18, 2011 9:36pm [ 1 ]

Vote YES! on TSPLOST !!! It will help people to get less dependent on their own cars and will ease the traffic problems ! Thus, it will give them more choices to get to and from work, might reduce their monthly spendings on car insurance, gas, etc. Isn't spending cuts are something, Republicans are so eager to implement ??? Why this flip-flop now ?

Bruce
Aug 19, 2011 4:34am [ 2 ]

No tax! The money will just go to some mega-contractor who will hire more foreigners to tie up traffic for years building a streach of road that will be too small when it is finished. Let's lower the tax instead to attract more shoppers and more small businesses who will put more of our own people to work!

Gary Cooper
Aug 19, 2011 10:46am [ 3 ]

I actually support the T-SPLOST. It will keep the money within the region instead of allowing the GADOT to play it's usual good ole boy politics and put money to projects that benefit them personally. It also helps pay for much needed road projects for each region that we usually rely on the state receiving federal funds for and can be privy to back room politics. (road bills in congress).

And to say this is the largest redistribution of wealth is silly. It is a SPLOST and everyone who pays sales tax within the region is contributing to the fund. It is not taking money from one group and giving it to another, which is wealth redistribution. I am all for fiscal sanity and conservatism, but a SPLOST fund is a better mechanism to pay for much needed road construction than what we are accustomed to in this state from generations past. And no the money will not go to some mega contractor who will hire foreign workers. Any contractor with the state has to prove citizenship of those who perform the project work. In other words, they have to use the E-Verify system. They may be workers from another state, but they will be legal workers.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 19, 2011 3:35pm [ 4 ]

Really Gary. Explain to me this one small fact. In the Georgia Mountains Region Forsyth is the largest and most prosperous next to Hall. The money you spend will fund projects in Banks, Towns, White etc, if you are lucky.

Keep in mind that all this T-SPLOST money goes to Atlanta first and it is divided up for projects. There is absolutely no way the crime families under the Gold Dome are going to let one cent released without somehow getting a cut.

It is better to do it at the local county level, so when the crooks in the counties reward their buddies and enrich themselves we get a shot at them at the ballot box.

No one is against infrastructure, we want infrastructure in the right way.

Gary Cooper
Aug 19, 2011 10:02pm [ 5 ]

Bill, please explain how my sales tax contributions going to pay for road projects throughout the GMRC is any different than the current transportation setup where the GA DOT receives annual funds via the state income tax and then divides it up among the 180 GA counties? And historically those funds are divided up based on some political kickback or power brokers behind the scenes at the DOT making a deal.

With the GMRC it is true that Forsyth and Hall are the most prosperous counties. It is also true that they have the most projects listed in the latest draft for the GMRC and will have the most once the final draft is approved in October. It is also a fact that the projects for each locale in the GMRC is set to the estimated amount of sales tax funds they are expected to generate over the 10 year period. Which means that the money you are spending is allocated to the projects that benefit your community.

Also your nonsense that the crooks under the gold dome are in charge of the money and will not release it without getting a cut will not happen. TSPLOST is specific that the money agreed to in the final draft for each region will be divided up for that specific region based on the approved projects. Whatever money is collected will go back to the region and the projects approved by the commission and eventually voters. The TSPLOST is just like a local SPLOST where the money collected has to be spent specifically for what was approved in the referendum.

This is a much better way to fund badly needed transportation projects and, unlike those at the local level specifically in Forsyth, these projects will include major state highways that are long overdue for improvements. I surely like this option much better than the stalemate, corruption fueled GA DOT funding mechanism that has been around for generations and have made GA roads the laughing stock of the southeast.

So if TSPLOST is not the right way to fund infrastructure, then please tell me your idea for what is the best way? And don't give me crap about local governments funding all projects based on current tax levels because that is nothing more than a pipe dream. Also keep in mind that local SPLOST is a limited option because you can only work local projects and not those that are state managed like GA 400, Hwys 20, 9, and 369.

Dave Richard
Aug 20, 2011 3:33am [ 6 ]

I loves me some U.N. Conspiracy Theory!

OK, I haven't figured out who wee-wee'd in Bill Evelyn's Wheaties when he was a kid, but this crime family and criminal stuff is the sign of an unstable mind. (The U.N. Agenda 21 taking over our minds and bodily fluids thing clinched it for me)

And heaven forbid that we help to fund projects in other counties. My God, it's positively Socialistic! Of course, since our roads in Forsyth connect to roads in Dawson and Hall, maybe we'd like to have funds available for projects that span county borders - something a local SPLOST cannot do.

Our infrastructure is crumbling. It is up to us to pay the bills that will get this back to standards, and enhance what we have to move the estimated millions of people who will be moving here in the next decade or two. The Feds won't do it, so it is up to Georgia to make this happen.

T-SPLOST is the least painful way to address our transportation infrastructure needs.

But it had better be on the Nov. 2012 ballot and not on a special election.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 20, 2011 6:01am [ 7 ]

Gary. First off, the majority of the projects on the list are local projects. The City of Cumming should fund their own sidewalks. Forsyth County should fund their own road widening.

Second, if you want highways criss crossing the state then withold sending federal gas tax revenues to Washington DC. A dollar sent to Washington DC is laundered through the bureaucracy and returned to Georgia at $.60 cents on the dollar. By the time is makes it out of the Georgia bureaucracy it is $.40 cents on the dollar. If they withhold the fuel tax revenues stolen from the people they'll have more money that waiting for it to return.

Third, government is never good. People must stop praying five times per day to Mordor on the Potomac. I'm going to start a line of prayer mats that say; "Citizens obey your Federal Overlords."

The power is at the state, the state needs to protect us from Mordor. STOP taking federal dollars and STOP sending the dollars to Mordor.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 20, 2011 6:06am [ 8 ]

@Dave. I want safe bridges to drive across Lake Lanier. I want good quality roads. Sidewalks for Cumming is Cummings responsibility. Road widening in Forsyth is Forsyth's responsibility. It is not Forsyth's responsibility to erect a tower at a small airport in Banks County and it's not Forsyth's responsibility to widen a road in Cleveland.

T-SPLOST is a centralized planning tool that directs Billions into an authority to divy it up. Even if all the players were angels they can't make these decisions efficiently for 156 counties.

If you want a T-SPLOST then Forsyth collects it and it remains in Forsyth county to fund their own projects.

I have a prayer mat for you. Only $14.

btw ... I ate cheerios

Dave Richard
Aug 20, 2011 10:47am [ 9 ]

So, you want your transportation dollars local, eh?

Fine.

SR369 needs to be widened and straightened and Brown's Bridge can't remain 2-lane.

How does that get done?

T-SPLOST gets that done. Forsyth can't do it alone, nor can Hall. And having SR369 widened helps get folks from Forsyth and Hall to Commerce top spend more money.

Your "government is never good" crap is fine for the fringe in the Tea Party and the Libertarians (yes, both parties have their fringe elements as well), but it isn't remotely true, and it isn't bought by the logical thinking people who make up the majority of Americans.

You don't want a new tax? Fine. Make your case in that regard. But this crazy U.N. conspiracy stuff and wealth distribution nonsense is just that - nonsense.

Regional problems require regional solutions.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 20, 2011 12:17pm [ 10 ]

@Dave. Rubbish. I can see economics is not your strong point.

SPLOST impacts the bottom-line of every business in Forsyth County. Businesses set their prices in a free market. They simply can't pass-on a SPLOST tax to consumers. If they could raise prices without affecting their profits or overall business they would have done it already. Imposing a SPLOST on a business requires that business to absorb the cost, which is a tax on production, wages, research, investment and every aspect of economic life.

SPLOST is as coercive as income tax. What happens if you consume a product and don't pay the tax? You are fined and jailed as though you refused to pay income tax. You may decide to voluntarily not consume and you may decide voluntarily not to earn income, but if I am not permitted to exempt myself from either tax it is not voluntary. If taxes were voluntary it would not be called a tax.

Is is particularly bad when it's regional.

Gary Cooper
Aug 20, 2011 2:51pm [ 11 ]

Bill, the sidewalks in Cumming were removed from the last draft. The remaining projects locally center around state highways such as 9, 400, 369, and 20 with a few local projects included. You also seem to dismiss the fact that I pointed out being that the GMRC sets the project for each of the counties based on the projected sales tax generated from each. Which means Cumming/Forsyth County are going to get projects done based on how much we as a community generate for the TSPLOST.

@David, the TSPLOST is currently scheduled to be held during the primaries next July, however, the powers in the gold dome have put on the agenda during this special session to discuss moving it to the 2012 general election in order to get all voters to participate and give the referendums a better chance at passing since some of the Tea Parties such as Bill's group were getting together to vote down the TSPLOST and the Democrats who are thought to support the idea don't really have many primaries next summer so limited participation is expected from them until November of 2012.

And finally Bill, David is right when he suggests that your rhetoric in the article is borderline of an unstable mind. The fact is you not only pontificate it here, but on other boards in this community and the state as well, and just like now it is not winning you any admirers. Take a deep breath and understand the entire concept of what it is you are talking about and then give us a reasonable alternative and not the "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead with dismantling all government" rhetoric you bring to each discussion. So I am still waiting on your reasonable plan to deal with the infrastructure problems that TSPLOST is going to fix.

Gary Cooper
Aug 20, 2011 2:56pm [ 12 ]

Also Bill, rubbish is the thought that a 1 cent tax on sales of goods is going to effect the bottom line of all businesses in Forsyth County. The county has had a SPLOST option around for nearly 20 years and in that time frame the county became one of the fastest growing in the nation and businesses started to setup shop in the south and west ends of the county. That extra 1 cent tax didn't seem to effect them then nor does it seem to effect them now. I highly doubt an extra penny sales tax is going to make any of them close their doors and pull up shop so to speak. If it does then they would not have survived in business anyway.

Dave Richard
Aug 20, 2011 4:12pm [ 13 ]

From the mind of Bill Evelyn: "SPLOST impacts the bottom-line of every business in Forsyth County. Businesses set their prices in a free market. They simply can't pass-on a SPLOST tax to consumers."

And you say I don't understand economics? :roll:

In case you missed it, Bill, SPLOST is a penny tax. On everything. No one is going to drive to the county next door to save a penny when they all have the same penny tax.

There is NOTHING to pass onto the consumer.

NOTHING.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 21, 2011 6:01am [ 14 ]

@Gary I'm not particularly interested in your assessment of me on the stability of my mind. When I want your assessment I'll ask. It is arrogant that you feel you're qualified to come to any conclusions.

One cent on a single purchase of chewing gum is not much, but when taken over an entire state that removes ~$30B from the private sector and puts it into the government, that is destruction of wealth. It is particularly egregious to centralize it.

If you took the time to read the links, it might help to educate you.

Dave Richard
Aug 21, 2011 9:20am [ 15 ]

Bill, you might want to ignore those swarms of black unmarked helicopters hovering over your house and come to the realization that:

A. This will not be centralized, but regionalized. B. The infrastructure HAS to be improved. C. If you don't like it come up with a better plan to fund it.

Because either way, it has to be done.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 21, 2011 1:02pm [ 16 ]

Forsyth County government should reduce it's size to 2005 levels. Reduce the budget item Judicial and Elected officials by 25% - that's $14M. Only another $24M to get to $50M. Then we can pay for any sidewalk, road widening, or bridge that you want.

T-SPLOST is not going to happen. All surveys show the voters will not pass it. You can thank the BOC and BOE for putting the bad SPLOST taste in people's mouths.

Dave Richard
Aug 22, 2011 8:36am [ 17 ]

Sorry to have to point this out to you, Bill, but reducing the size of the Judiciary by that much would put you in violation of the U.S. Constitution. (see if you can figure THAT one out)

And your math is so faulty it is laughable. If you gain $14 million from reducing the size of government, and you need $50 million (disregarding the issue about regional solutions), you don't need $24 million to make up the difference, you need $36 million more.

You're just a bit short, Bill.

Gary Cooper
Aug 22, 2011 11:19am [ 18 ]

Oh that's rich Bill. Cut the Judiciary by 25%? Being the astute constitutional scholar you proclaim to be, can you tell me how that would pass constitutional muster and keep us from the obvious lawsuits that such a move is sure to drum up?

Bill Evelyn
Aug 25, 2011 5:39am [ 19 ]

Ridiculous. You can easily cut the size of the police state in Forsyth County. Let me ask you a very simple question.

Who is the enemy that warrants SWAT vehicles, all those guns, police cars, personnel etc? Who is the enemy that needs all those lawyers, counselors, social workers, clerks, judges etc? I'll tell you. That enemy is us gentlemen. These things are mean't for us, the citizens of Forsyth County and we are the ones forced to pay for all of it.

You can cut budgets in all the departments. You can remove silly ordinances. You can pass local ordinances that over ride stupid state laws. There are a host of things that can be done, but you are too busy embracing Big Government to see a way forward.

Corey Drew
Aug 25, 2011 3:26pm [ 20 ]

Bill,

Since you have all the answers I hope we will see your name on the ballot next July for a BOC seat.

Dave Richard
Aug 26, 2011 7:41am [ 21 ]

Something tells me that Bill Evelyn has been a bit too close to the law and legal system in his lifetime with his "police state" nonsense.

Hitting a little too close to home, Bill?

That "police state" as you so charmingly (yet inaccurately) put it, is well below the recommendations of the Sheriff and what other law enforcement agencies typically call for as regards staffing.

Yet that same "police state" is responsible for a lower crime rate in Forsyth County than many of our neighboring counties.

But don't let FACTS get in the way of a good whine, right, Bill?

Oh, and I know you probably just forgot to answer the Constitutional challenge posted above to you in my last missive. I'm sure that your lack of an answer has nothing to do with your ignorance of a document you claim to know and respect.

jerk me off
Aug 26, 2011 10:01pm [ 22 ]

Jerk offs, if we are so protected from crime, do you jerks lock you doors when you leave your houses for work?

Dave Richard should answer this cause I lock my doors cause the gov't can come in at any time, unlocked.

When locked they NEED A WARRENT.

I follow Bill on this issue.

Dave Richard
Aug 27, 2011 7:22am [ 23 ]

"Dave Richard should answer this cause I lock my doors cause the gov't can come in at any time, unlocked."

Two words: Bull s--t.

Your paranoia is just a bit scary. Please remember to duck when those unmarked black helicopters swarm overhead.

Dave Richard
Aug 27, 2011 7:22am [ 24 ]

Oh, and don't let them get your precious bodily fluids!

Bill Evelyn
Aug 27, 2011 9:47am [ 25 ]

Dave. Your arrogance astounds me. You make sweeping generalization about me and yet we never met. I'm a former military officer, fighter pilot, and citizen in the highest standing. I even have a TOP SECRET by investigation clearance. You know nothing about me, but you spout off as though we've known each other for years.

What does anything about a local issue have to do with the Constitution? Ask me a question that can be answered.

You claim that the police make us safe. Really? Do the police keep you safe when someone breaks into your home and threatens you? Do the police keep you safe when a drunk runs a traffic light and slams into you? Do the police keep you safe when a burglar breaks into your shop at night? The answer is no. You must defend yourself in each of these instances and the police will investigate afterwards.

Forsyth County is a welfare state for judges, lawyers, counselors, social workers, and all the instruments of the police state. 64% of all expenditures in our budget go to keep the welfare state intact. Reduce this line item by 25% and you will re capture more Liberty and get the legal parasites out of our life.

Dave Richard
Aug 27, 2011 4:21pm [ 26 ]

"What does anything about a local issue have to do with the Constitution? Ask me a question that can be answered."

Clearly, Mr. "I know the Constitution" doesn't have a clue about that document. Try this, Bill:

"Amendment VI In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial . . ."

Now, how are you going to meet the Constitutional requirement set above if you cut the judiciary (which can't get trials done quickly with TODAY'S funding levels) by 25%?

Oy!

Now to your other nonsense.

"Do the police keep you safe when someone breaks into your home and threatens you?"

Depends on where they are when I call them.

"Do the police keep you safe when a drunk runs a traffic light and slams into you?"

Depends on if they stop the drunk before they get to the traffic light.

"Do the police keep you safe when a burglar breaks into your shop at night?"

No, because I'm not open at night.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 28, 2011 1:36pm [ 27 ]

David. The Constitution is a form of government for the Federal government. The Constitution tells us what the federal government can do to us; the Bill of Rights tells us what the Federal government can do to us. Tell me what that has to do with Forsyth County.

In this one string of comments you insulted me, claim expertise in psychology, law enforcement, profiling those too close to the law, constitutional scholar, expert on the paranormal, and I'm sure we can find other things if we had the inclination or the time.

Yet, the one time I watched you in public at the town hall you were simply a loud mouth. Amazing how that works.

Dave Richard
Aug 28, 2011 4:35pm [ 28 ]

"Tell me what that has to do with Forsyth County."

Uh, Bill? The Constitution is the basis of ALL laws, not just Federal laws. Therefore, the Bill of Rights cannot be superseded by state or local practices.

Therefore, the right to a speedy trial goes all the way down to the local level.

In Forsyth County.

Oh, and I'm a keen observer of human activity and nature, Bill. You're a case study in nuts.

Bill Evelyn
Aug 28, 2011 6:39pm [ 29 ]

Dave. You're ignorant.

A man must know his limitations. You should try to reflect. It might help you to keep you finger out of your nose.

Dave Richard
Aug 28, 2011 10:39pm [ 30 ]

"Dave. You're ignorant."

So says the man who doesn't know the Constitution, doesn't know how to add or subtract, doesn't know the T-SPLOST is regionally-based, doesn't know the economics of a 1-cent tax . . .

Shall I go on?

Sue Faux
Aug 29, 2011 9:15am [ 31 ]

I love you Bill. I am married. Can a married woman love another man? Yes- in a cyber world we can. I love your back ground and your writings.

Keep up the good work. My husbend is sitting right next to me and loves you too.

Dave Richard and Patrick Bell, I dunno bout them hillbillies. These have teeth. Sue

Dave Richard
Aug 29, 2011 9:19am [ 32 ]

Oy. . .

Teh stoopid. It burns. . .

Kinda tough to be a "hillbilly", Sue, when you are born and raised in Massachusetts.

Jun 8, 2012 12:19pm [ 33 ]

"I loves me some U.N. Conspiracy Theory!" The only people who say these kinds of things are people who are either 1. too lazy to do their homework and are, therefore, permanently ignorent, or 2. actually believe that globalism is good.

Isaac Davis
Jun 29, 2012 8:08am [ 34 ]

--Their chains are forged as we hear the clanking-- Thomas Payne

--May their chains rest lightly upon them, and may posterity forget they were our countrymen-- Sam Adams

Great witness to scourge of globalization: Look up youtube for Sir James Goldsmith interview with Charlie Rose back in 1990's.

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