At Issue: Should Fayette County approve a new SPLOST?

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At Issue: Should Fayette County approve a new SPLOST?

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Steve Lopez
On March 21, Fayette County voters will decide whether to approve a one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that would raise approximately $141 million over six years for stormwater, transportation and infrastructure projects.

On March 21, Fayette County voters will decide whether to approve a one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that would raise approximately $141 million over six years for stormwater, transportation and infrastructure projects.

If the SPLOST is approved, the county and its municipalities — Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone, Brooks and Woolsey – would divide the proceeds to fund specific projects already prioritized by the respective governing bodies. The county would get approximately $64.6 million, Peachtree City $45.5 million, Fayetteville $21 million, Tyrone $9 million and Brooks just under $700,000.

The 238 projects include dams, culverts, intersections and paving (roads and golf cart paths), plus a new fire station and public safety radio system. Woolsey would get $223,000 to turn a historic building into a community center.

Each municipality has a web page dedicated to SPLOST information, and the county has posted an interactive map at www.fayettecountyga.gov that shows exactly where each project would occur and what its cost and completion date would be.

Representatives from the county and cities are holding public information meetings and setting up information booths at local events to help sell the SPLOST; the mayors and/or city managers of each locality have all gone on record supporting the sales tax, since shoppers from outside the county would contribute a significant portion of the revenue and because the county and cities would either have to further delay projects or fund them by raising other taxes if the SPLOST fails.

Not everyone is on board, however; former Peachtree City mayor Don Haddix calls the SPLOST “double taxation” because stormwater fees would still be collected even if the extra sales tax is added. Other folks just don’t like the idea of any more taxes, period.

Fayette residents, do you favor or oppose the proposed SPLOST, and why? Send comments by Tuesday to communitynews@ajc.com; replies may be published in print or online.

AT ISSUE: DOES PROPOSED BAN ON SMOKING IN CAR WITH KIDS PRESENT GO TOO FAR?

Citing the health risk to youngsters of second-hand smoke, a Georgia legislator has proposed a state law that would prohibit adults from smoking in vehicles with children. Critics say that’s a nanny state response, with government threatening to outlaw what’s otherwise a legal activity.

Here’s what some readers had to say:

Georgia’s proposed smoking ban presents potential ethical dilemmas around the restriction of second-hand-smoking in private domains, such as vehicles, when children are present. Previous policies provided smoke-free public spaces for the majority, to protect the environment and an individual from exposure to second-hand smoke. Children are considered a vulnerable population, with no voice. Parental second-hand smoking has been proven by research to be harmful, causing diseases in children especially when they are confined to small spaces, such as a vehicle. When considering the ban, it is important to consider all ethical dilemmas; however, legislators should also consider government’s responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of an individual. The same policies that protect children from at-risk behaviors should be extended to second-hand smoking with children present. — Lakeisha Howard

I realize there are many reasons for people to quit smoking. As a previous smoker, I feel I can speak on this subject. I believe the government would be going too far in prohibiting smoking in your own automobile with your own children. They say “No Smoking” about every place now. Next, they will not even want you to smoke in your own homes – it might harm the children. Enough is enough. — Louise Cook

Hitler passed the same anti-smoking laws. At least we know where the Democrats got their anti-tobacco agenda from – the Third Reich. Hitler’s anti-tobacco folks invented passivrauchen – passive smoking – to further brainwash the German people. It seems Democrats think Americans are just as stupid as to believe second-hand smoke, which is 96 percent water vapor and air, would harm anyone. It’s pure insanity. Even us 97 million Baby Boomers grew up in it, yet here we are, Americas longest-lived generation. — Jack Johnson

My children are in their 30s now, but I quit smoking when they were 5 and 2 years old. I quit primarily because they were sick so often, and so was I. So I do know that smoking around kids is harmful. I am not so certain it will protect children to criminalize the act of smoking in the car. However, it is inexplicable that the General Assembly can address this smoking problem, but leave the problem of gun violence out of their reckoning. To leave a loaded gun in a place where a child can find it, and shoot himself or someone else, needs to be addressed as a felony – with custodial rights and gun ownership hanging in the balance. Cigarettes are bad, but guns are too often fatal. — Brent C. Forkner

David Ibata for the AJC

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