“Legislators critical of proposed rail line”

Interesting article in the Marietta Daily Journal about the fault lines that are appearing in the political support for the transportation tax increase. You can read the whole thing here but below are some of the juiciest tidbits:

Cobb lawmakers on Monday criticized the proposed light rail line from Midtown  Atlanta to Cumberland Mall which constitutes the majority of Cobb’s take in next  year’s vote on a regional TSPLOST.


The $856.5 million number is the conservative estimate. The maximum cost is  targeted at $1.234 billion, according to the county.


“We’ve got huge infrastructure needs in far west Cobb  County, and to ask those people that I represent to support a mile’s worth of  rail that’s finished in 2026 when they have to drive to work every morning would  be something that doesn’t fix the here and now, and I doubt they’d be very happy  with me for supporting something like that.”


Cooper said the rail line would clearly benefit one area of the county, the  Cumberland Community Improvement District.


Setzler reiterated what he told the Journal on Friday, which is the rail line  would only benefit five percent of the county while at the same time costing  each household in Cobb $4,000.


“We know that rail offers some things that you can’t get from just building  roads,” Rogers said. “But we also know that rail doesn’t do a great job in  lessening traffic, and at a time when we need traffic to be lessened  significantly..”

Although this article is about legislators in Cobb County it is especially relevant to the people of North Fulton county for three key reasons:

1. The political climate in North Fulton is almost identical to that of Cobb County.

2. Elected officials in Cobb County acknowledge transit is really just a subsidy for commercial property owners in the local CID.

3. Traffic is the primary concern for voters in both areas yet transit projects will have no positive impact on traffic during the supposed 10 year duration of the tax.

As North Fulton opponents of the tax increase become more vocal I expect we will see our elected officials do the same.

Transit advocate boots taxpayer advocate from train pep rally

I saw this article from the Marietta Daily Journal referenced by Lee over at rootsinalpharetta.com and want to pass it along here as well. The article is about a pep rally for business leaders that want to leverage higher taxes on the public into higher profits for themselves. Nothing surprising there but the section below is just too perfect to let slide:

Lance Lamberton, president of the Cobb County Taxpayers Association, attended Wednesday and tried to distribute copies of a letter to the editor he wrote that was published in the Journal last month. But he was asked to leave by an unidentified person.

So transit advocates and business leaders that want higher taxes to pay for their pet projects don’t appreciate taxpayers criticizing their expensive and grandiose plans? I sure am glad that would never happen around here…

Forget plastics… buy Bag Balm!

Bag balm is the medicated salve that dairy farmers apply to soothe the overworked teats of dairy cows. But Bag Balm isn’t just for cows any more and after yesterday’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax vote in Cobb County the stuff will soon be flying off the shelves as taxpayers seek to soothe the pain of being milked for another 500 million dollars.

The special election decided whether Cobb voters would approve an extension of the local 1% sales tax. The referendum could have been held in November thus saving taxpayers $340,000 in special election expenses but tax advocates knew that higher voter participation would hurt their chances of passage so the special election was held yesterday. In addition to that example of political gamesmanship the Cobb County business community funneled $150,000 to tax advocates through the local Community Improvement Districts.

Yet despite all the machinations of Cobb County’s business and political community the issue was a dead heat right down to the wire. The tax extension won by  a whopping 79 votes out of the roughly 43,000 votes cast.

That works out to 50.09% in favor and 49.91% against so proportionally about 241 Million Dollars will be taken from taxpayers to pay for projects that they either didn’t want or didn’t want to pay for. That’s gonna hurt.

But every challenge presents an opportunity and the sore teats of Cobb County’s cash cow taxpayers present a huge opportunity for the local distributors of Bag Balm. And since political observers viewed the Cobb SPLOST referendum as an indicator of how Georgia’s proposed transportation tax increase will fare next year we can all get in on the action.

Forget plastics… buy Bag Balm!