T-SPLOST (GA 1 penny transportation sales tax vote)

GA will vote on July 31st for an additional 1 penny sales tax to improve transportation, known as T-SPLOST. Many members have been wanting to discuss this polarizing topic for a while now.

 

Pro: http://connectgeorgia2012.com/ http://untieatlanta.com/

Con: http://www.stoptsplost2012.com/ www.traffictruth.net

(post others in comments)

 

Neutral resources:

http://www.pba.org/post/t-splost-debate-hosted-wabe (1 hour debate)

http://metroatlantatransportationvote.com/ (maps and research about projects)

 

In a first for our group, we're going to have some speakers to introduce the topic and then take part in the discussion!

On the con side, Mike Lowry has volunteed to speak.  Mike has a background in business development and technology, and has actively been blogging and speaking about this issue. You can read some of his posts here: http://roswell.patch.com/search?keywords=lowry

 

On the pro side, Jim Durrett will be speaking.  Jim is on the speaker's bureau for transformmetroatlanta.com, currently runs the Buckhead CID and used to run the Livable Communities Coalition.

 

If you'd like to get dinner, please try to arrive at 7:00 so we can begin the presentations at 7:30pm.

 

Our group is focused on learning and respectful discussion rather than honing debate skills or convincing people one way or the other.

 

There's a $1 charge for this meetup, but it is OPTIONAL.  It helps cover the $180 yearly meetup fees. Thanks for your help.

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  • Jay W.

    If Marta was privatized, I would think that a private Company would be able to operate MARTA +15% more efficiency than a governmental agency. To stop the waste, at a future meeting, lets discuss if Marta should be privatized.

    Or, if we wanted to get into the details, we could do some research on Marta’s budget and metrics of efficiency and discuss where MARTA wastes money and either what costs should be cut or what services can be added without increasing the costs.

    July 18, 2012

  • Scott D.

    I think we had our biggest (and most polite!) group yet. Very lucky to have the speakers come and share.

    July 18, 2012

  • Peg W

    Excellent group discussion. Knowledgeable and passionate PRO and CON speakers were most informative. I came into the evening with one opinion and left with quite another. Now the homework is up to me. Thanks, Scott et al!

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent. Well done all around.

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here are just a couple of points I would make:

    1) I think we do need rail to increase densities. I know that an argument was made that you can't do rail till the density is in place. However, that doesn't fit w/ historical growth patterns of Chicago, NYC, Boston & many other cities.
    2) This plan does not do that, so a bad plan should not be voted in. Good plan first, money 2nd.
    3) Lastly, we need to make far better use of existing taxes from avelorem on to sales taxes. Stop the waste first.

    1 · July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I agree that traffic is horrendous for some in Metro Atlanta, but this referendum is not a short-term solution to that problem. We learned last night that of the 157 projects, none will integrate MARTA, et al., the only proposed MARTA rail expansion connects Lindbergh to Emory, and the 400 project begins in 2020. Furthermore, several traffic issues mentioned last night will be out-of-scope.

    It is time that we begin to hold our representatives accountable, beginning with voting no on this.

    1 · July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yes = perpetuating the problems of incompetence and corruption, sometimes disguised as incompetence (playing stupid). Yes = wasting a good portion of the finite resources of time and money. Money would be better spent providing education and job placement for the disenfranchised. Subsequently making it attractive, but not mandating (quotas) for employers to hire them, restoring their dignity, and eventually ending the poverty cycle. There are better solutions, we need courage and perseverence.

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Both speakers (pro and con) agree that this is a half-baked solution. Their main difference being that one says 1) it’s better than nothing and who knows how long until we get a better solution 2) we need to demand a better solution. I agree with demanding a better solution, and disagree with the fact that the system can’t be changed. It must be changed, and we have email and the web (Facebook, etc.) to get it done, and "No" is a start. Emailing elected officials at Congress.org takes 5 minutes.

    1 · July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    My final post. The tax burden on residents in the region will average $111 per capita per year over the ten years ($96.68 in 2013 up to $124.88 in 2022). At a minimum, 35% of the tax burden is carried by businesses, and an estimated 7% is carried by visitors to the region.

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The funds collected, along with other funds leveraged, are put to work immediately and not drained out of the economy. Experts were asked to study this. You may believe what you want to believe, Jay. I know you are a skeptic. My duty is to point out fallacies presented by "the opposition" so that those not yet committed to a position have good information based on facts, and not just opinions, conjectures, ideologies, complaints and vote pandering by elected officials running for office.

    July 17, 2012

  • Jay W.

    $1 billion in taxes would be driained out of the Atlanta regional economy in 2013 and 2014, and very few projects would start in those years. Therefore, I would expect that the impact in those years would be negative. But, bases on the chart that shows the impact, the impact is positive in those year. To me, this does not make sense and leads to the conclusion that the chart is wrong.

    1 · July 17, 2012

  • Jay W.

    Informative. Yes, we have a traffic problem. No, the T-splost will not solve it. If the T-Splost passed, we will likely make it less likely that we will be able to solve the traffic problem because over $8 billion of taxes will be drained away from residents who will not have it available to actual spend on a good solution.

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The meeting was enjoyable and especially informative about an important issue of 1 cent special tax. The meeting was very well organized with Scott Driscoll as moderator with two opposing experts on the subject while the audiences added questions/ comments.
    The obvious success of the meeting and format should become a model to include experts and the meet up audience becomes the panel with moderator. Everyone expressed last night afterwards the meeting was stimulating and worthwhile.

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Scott,
    You and the presenters did an excellent job. It was my first time with this group, and really enjoyed the discussion. You did a fantastic job moderating and keeping people on time!
    Jim

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Mike also made a claim that the ARC refuses to release the basis for their claims about the impacts and benefits of the projects. That assertion is merely a lie. The entire reports – mobility and economic impacts – are on ARC's website, both in executive summary form and in full, brutal details: http://www.metroatlantatransportationvote.com/ This should give folks pause as they consider the veracity of all of the claims made by opponents of the referendum.

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for your attention and conversation last night. To see the projects, go to http://transformmetroatlanta.com/regional-projects/ and you can zoom in, click on icons for specific project information. Mike was correct about 400/285 interchange not being constructed until 2020. I don't know what point he meant to make, since we cannot build everything tomorrow. He was incorrect about the federal formula funding not being committed to match the TIA funding.

    July 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Scott, you managed this presentation extemely well. Congratulations to you as well as to others; I thought that the group was very civil, perhaps even polite, to Mike and to Jim.

    July 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks to the organizer for pulling this together. This was a very informative session.

    July 16, 2012

  • Scott D.

    The location is Taco Mac Lindbergh in their upstairs room, getting rid of the TBD note, sorry about that!

    July 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    July 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    WABE is having a live debate on the T-SPLOST bill tonight at 7:00: https://www.facebook.com/events/255916204514152/

    July 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Approved Atlanta area projects are in this document: http://www.atlantaregionalroundtable.com/documents/final_report.pdf

    June 25, 2012

  • Scott D.

    I'll investigate, thanks!

    June 13, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    There's a new'ish place on Pharr (piedmont rd side) called Olde Towne Tavern - I've heard they have party rooms... never seems to be terribly busy when I drive by - they might like us ;-)

    June 13, 2012

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  • Scott D.
    Event Host
  • Jay W.
    Co-Organizer
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