Before we begin, let me start by agreeing that we have infrastructure needs in Georgia. We not only need new roads and additional lanes, but we also need repairs to existing roads and bridges. My question is why aren’t we looking at the bureaucracy first? Is it because that would require work? Is it really easier to raise taxes?
Currently we pay 7.5¢ per gallon tax plus about 11.8¢ price per gallon sales tax (depends on local tax area). The complexity deals with the 11.8¢ per gallon sales tax because it is dependent on the price of gas. When gas was $3.75 per gallon, the state collected about 40¢ per gallon; but now that gas is $1.90, the state is collecting only 20¢ per. When added to the 7.5¢, the state is looking at a reduction of 42% in revenue.
I haven’t read the bill yet, but from what I am reading, it looks like the state wants to replace the 11.8¢ sales tax with 29.2 cents per gallon tax. While this looks like less revenue than when gas was $3.75 per gallon, in Hall County one of those pennies goes to schools (E-SPLOST), one goes to property tax reduction (LOST), and one goes to special projects (SPLOST). I doubt that there is a plan. With the LOST penny reducing, that actually creates an automatic property tax increase. Talk about your double whammy.
Since I don’t believe in complaining for the sake of complaining, all I ask is that you look at the 17% of the budget that appears to be the bureaucracy. It appears that 1/3 of the GDOT budget doesn’t ever make it to roads. What is the plan here?
Taxation should be the last resort, not the first. I understand that dealing with GDOT may be harder work, but please make the effort before you come to me.