A few days ago, some of the more prominent men in the county wrote a letter to this newspaper, explaining why they thought one should vote for the T-Splost.
Let me explain why you shouldn’t.
The list I am making is numbered, but the numbering is not a listing of their individual importance. Each one stands alone, and alone, is enough reason not to vote for the tax.
1. It is a tax. Plain and simple. It will not go away. Think. Has anyone ever seen a tax go away. There will always be something that just has to be done. That really needs a tax to be extended. Look at the SPLOST taxes that you already pay, and has any ever come off?
2. The economy. Have our leaders been hiding? Now is not the time for a new tax. People are out of work. The cost of living is going up. People on welfare, and Social Security, or other pensions, just got a rate increase for the first time in 3 years. A tax now will be a burden on them.
3. This year a large portion of the property owners got hit with a very large property tax. Money will be tight with a lot of elderly property owners, because of it.
4. This widening of this road is not needed. Hasn’t been needed. If it had been needed, our leaders would have had a good case to present to the people in Atlanta, who make the decisions for funding. The traffic count just isn’t there.
5. At the very most, 4 or 5 passing lanes, added between Doerun and Valdosta, would be all that is needed. I drove to Albany, from Doerun, for 30 years and never experienced a problem with traffic.
6. This widening will take up hundreds, if not thousands of acres of very valuable land. This land will come off the tax rolls. The money lost will have to be made up. Where will it come from? You guessed it. Property owners.
7. There will be a loss of jobs. Businesses in Doerun, Berlin, and Morven, will suffer greatly. Don’t believe me.
Take ride to Berlin. Get off the bypass for a change, actually go through what was the city. See the closed, boarded up, stores for yourself. I grew up there.
I speak first hand. Doerun and Morven will really be hurt. People don’t get off a highway doing 65 or 70 miles an hour, and stop for a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. Half of Doerun is closed already. It will be like and island.
8. Farmers, and others, that purchase large equipment, cars, trucks, tractors, heavy farm machinery, will pay dearly in increase cost.
9. The widening of this road will have no effect of the Marine Base. It is already serviced by a 4-lane road and the railroad. Highway 82 runs right behind the base.
10. The promise of creating 14,000 jobs is speculation at its best. Remember this is a 10-year span. Some jobs will, or would, have been created anyhow.
11. We are facing a very uncertain future at the moment, concerning OBABACARE. No one knows what the cost of this is going to be. It will cost, and it will be a tax. You won’t have much of a choice.
12. The runway at Spence Field does not need to be extended. We have an Airport at Sunset, Valdosta, and Albany.
13. The real reason, the heart, the core, for this tax, is not about widening highway 133, but for the money called discretionary funds.
Most people don’t know what this term means. It is money that can be spend as the leaders want to, Spence Field won’t be worked on. That will free up close to half a million dollars for their personal projects.