Let me start this by saying I have great respect for the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce. I once was privileged to serve on its Board of Directors. I have great respect for our local Chamber of Commerce, and have been active there. They are promoting a YES vote on T-SPLOST, the Special Purpose Local Sales Tax for transportation that will raise our sales tax by one full cent to improve mass transportation and roads in our area. It isn't often I disagree with these worthy organizations, but I am this time. I am going to vote NO on T-SPLOST. There are a number of reasons, all valid in my judgment, but the tipping point came in recent weeks when almost every government agency in sight has started a public campaign to raise taxes, or "roll up" taxes, or increase fees, or do whatever they can to get more money from we-the-people to do whatever government wants to do. I find it inconsistent to say NO for general tax increases, and vote YES for a 12% increase in the sales tax. We have been in a severe recession for four years, and are a long ways from recovery. Hall County still has more than 6,000 people looking for a job. We have new graduating classes coming into the job market. Small businesses are just now beginning to recover. In my judgment this is NOT the time for government to increase taxes, and take money out of the free-market economy. So
For those of you who are smugly thinking you are physically fit ... thinking you don't need to go to the free health fair the day-after-tomorrow ... let me share something I learned attending the 2030 planning meetings.
For those of you who participated in the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce's 2030 envisioning process ... and almost one-thousand of you did ... you will know the number one thing we wanted 25 years from now is a better quality-of-life.