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Chamber backs T-SPLOST

Deborah Bowie. senior director of Public Policy and Communications for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, holds up a brochure of information regarding the T-SPLOST referendum.

Deborah Bowie. senior director of Public Policy and Communications for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, holds up a brochure of information regarding the T-SPLOST referendum.

ALBANY — Representatives of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce told Dougherty County Commissioners Monday that they have taken an advocacy position on the coming T-SPLOST ballot measure and will be educating voters until the July 31 referendum.

If the measure passes, a one-percent sales tax will be added to most purchases made in the 14-county Southwest Georgia area for the next 10 years which would generate $530 million for local and regional transportation projects.

Deborah Bowie, senior director of Public Policy and Communications for the Chamber, told commissioners that polling data suggests that, while some communities in the metro Atlanta area are shaping up to have a bitter battle ahead, Southwest Georgia should be a less contentious fight.

“The issue is shaping up to be a contentious vote in some communities but polling data suggests that we don’t see much of a fight,” Bowie said. “Don’t get me wrong. We’re not taking it for granted, but based on the fact that, in the past, sales tax initiatives have passed overwhelmingly, we think it should pass easily.”

Bowie said that the Chamber is currently raising funds to spend on marketing about a month before the referendum and is looking for people to speak to local civic groups about the T-SPLOST.

“At the end of the day, people will vote their convictions,” Bowie said. “We just ask that the people be informed before they vote.”

If passed, the project will fund the widening of Highway 133 from Albany through much of Southwest Georgia; an extension of Westover Boulevard into Lee County; a bridge and connector over the Flint River at Clark Avenue and a list of other projects.

The transportation sales tax concept came after state transportation were on a downward spiral. Funded through gas tax revenues, funding tanked as skyrocketing gas prices forced consumers to buy newer, more fuel efficient vehicles or turn to alternative sources of transportation all together.

Bowie said misinformation coming from Valdosta could have an impact swaying public opinion against the T-SPLOST.

A small group of Albany residents have formed a Facebook group aimed at submarining the T-SPLOST vote.

Currently the group has 19 members and is one of seven Facebook Groups formed either to support T-SPLOST or kill it.

Comments

Trustbuster 2 years, 2 months ago

Well it is so nice to know that the Chamber backs an increase in taxes to pay for politicians pork-barrel spending plans. It is hypocritical for the National Chamber of Commerce to oppose tax increases at the federal level while the state & local ones support revenue increases. Anyway you look at this scheme it is a tax increase-pure & simple.

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Cartman 2 years, 2 months ago

SPLOST is political trickery. The projects formerly financed from other forms of taxes are now financed by SPLOST funds WITHOUT any reduction in the other taxes. You have just voted yourselves a tax increase; with no repercussions to politicians because they can claim the public voted to do it. SPLOST only leads to more reckless spending, as exemplified by an E-SPLOST and T-SPLOST. They don't even have the decency to let us vote by SPLOST project, its all or none. This is to lump in their pet projects with the more palatable ones. Political trickery. Don't vote yourself a tax increase. Just vote NO.

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whattheheck 2 years, 2 months ago

I am jumping on your bandwagon, Carts. Nip it, nip it in the bud!

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dingleberry 2 years, 2 months ago

An endorsement from the Chamber means absolutely nothing in my book. Like getting an endorsement from the BOE, DCSS, or the CRIPS.

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javajoe 2 years, 2 months ago

Ya'll suit yourselves. But how else do you get your roads improved? Gas tax money is shrinking because cars are more efficient. Do you want to just let the roads go to crap? Do you want to just ignore the conditions they are in? Like it or not, a SPLOST is the best way to pay for this stuff. The money doesn't go to the state. The projects are defined. No-brainer, IYAM.

But go ahead, don't pass it, and watch other regions get the roads, and the business.

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geteducated 2 years, 2 months ago

Javajoe......did you know that the Tsplost has wording in the legislation that can re-route money from the local area to suit their needs. They have been spending and transferring money so much that when an independent auditor was brought in said, " the only way an audit can be done is to zero out the accounts" and start new. The corrupt state agency is the same one that mismanaged most of the state infrastructure improvements over the past 20 years. Money that went missing, but cant be probven because of their inept accounting practices. Dont believe me? Go to the following link.........

ANYONE that supports this is nothing more than uneducated or blinded by their political affiliation. When democrats and republicans agree on something, you might want to take a serious look at it.

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Support 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm voting NO!!! Did the Albany Chamber speak up in support of the Dougherty County Education SPLOST which generates $100 million over the next 5 years for the local (Albany Area) economy? NO.

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