On February 5 of this year the time of the groundbreaking for the Riverwatch Parkway Extension Project, WAGT TV26, WJBF Channel 6, and the Columbia County News-Times all incorrectly reported that the $34 million project was being funded wholly out of TIA-2010 funds, also known as TSPLOST.
The TIA funds for the project came out of the 75% funding level list approved by voters within the Constrained Projects List. There is a project cost estimate found in the details. That paints a truthful picture. Nearly $11 million for the project is reserved out of DOT highway and fuel taxes and there is a $3.3 million cost overrun already, leaving $20 million in TSPLOST funding.
You know there is something screwy when that many news outlets get it wrong and are all using the same number.
Well it didn’t take long to find the source. It was DOT, who came into the TSPLOST debate tarnished and smarting from Governor Sonny Perdue accusing them of “Enron Accounting,” but seems back to their bad habits by putting out a webpage showing TIA spending that looks to be TIA, alright – Totally In-Accurate. A Lincoln County project is only $1 million of TIA funding, but DOT listed it as $4 million. Wrightsboro Road in Augusta is shown as $19 million TIA funding, but it is only $2 million.
If DOT wants to reestablish its credibility after its flirtation with Enron Accounting they sure have a funny way of showing it.
How they are going to fund the huge cost increases with revenues collected so woefully low would make an Enron Accountant strain.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
From CityStink.net Reports Three counties in the CSRA region wisely said NO to T-SPLOST on July 31st: Columbia County, Glascock County and Lincoln County. However, since they were outvoted by the rest of the region, they will still be subjected to this hideous new tax and new level of government bureacracy. To make matters worse, since the T-SPLOST was rejected by 75% of the state, including populous metro Atlanta, this will likely result in proceeds from the CSRA’s gasoline tax being diverted to Atlanta. At least 3 local counties had the good judgement to see T-splost for what it was: a sham. Watch Al Gray’s video commentary below:
Originally posted on CityStink
Friday, June 22, 2012
The author, Al M. Gray is President of Cost Recovery Works, Inc., a provider of Cost Avoidance and Cost Recovery for America’s leading companies, businesses and governments desiring Superior Returns.
Below is a presentation by tax activist Al Gray before the Lincoln County Commission on June 14, 2012, warning county leaders about the “shameful” T-SPLOST and its disastrous effects on the region, especially small rural counties like Lincoln, which can be easily outvoted and forced into this abominable regional government with little to no representation.
*Click Video to play (Fast forward to the 1:20 min mark for Mr Gray’s remarks)*
*Below is the text of Al Gray’s remarks to the Lincoln County Commission concerning T-SPLOST* (Graphs and charts referenced in the video are included below)
Chairman Johnson and Gentlemen of the Commission, thank you for allowing me to speak tonight. I have come to sound a warning about the proposed new 1% Transportation sales tax that comes before voters July 31st. Frankly, in all the years following public policy I have never seen anything this shameful.
The greater shame is on this county’s legislators – Bill Jackson, Lee Anderson, and Tom McCall for springing forth such an assault upon the people of this county. The bill that gave rise to this abomination was called the Transportation Investment Act. This bill set up a regional transportation roundtable for 13 counties, including Lincoln County. While it is true all had input, the law set up an executive committee of 5 to have the final vote for the 13 counties. They set it up so that Lincoln County is forced to be in this whole new level of regional government, whether we vote to pass or fail, so that our votes are diminished.
This is taxation without representation. Worst of all they committed EXTORTION against us all, by denying state funds if we say “No!” Beyond this, this is a 14.2% tax increase that they swore to never vote for. Nor were any options even offered, like dedicating the 1% to our county.
Yes the shame is upon them and tonight I come to ask you to stop embracing this nonsense lest you bring greater shame on yourselves and the Chamber of Commerce, a group that risks its reputation by hawking this tax.
Politicians and Chamber representatives have been going around the CSRA saying this tax will raise $841 million under a base case. This is a LIE and the Promoters’ own data shows that. Here is a chart showing the base case. It is built on wild income growth numbers – 8% next year – that are a fantasy. The real numbers knock holes in these projections!
*Click graphic below to enlarge*
Will we get only $650 million? Sales tax revenues are WAYYYYYYY down as the blue charts show over the last 5 years. Can we pretend our way back to prosperity?*Click graphic below to enlarge*
Gentlemen YOU HAVE BEEN HOODWINKED!!!!!!! What these real revenue numbers show is that area wide, revenues will probably only cover $500 million to $540 million of the investment list projects! This will mean that the ones in the last years of this deal won’t be funded. Incredibly $6.6 million of the $7.7 million of Lincoln’s projects are to be built in these final years.
*Click graphic below to enlarge*
Source: Constrained List Spreadsheet from CSRA Regional Commission
The numbers say these projects will lack funding. You have been deceived and now are being asked to foist this deception upon the people of Lincoln County.
Beyond that, this is a terrible 14.2% increase in the sales tax. Frugal folks just cannot stand such an increase in any cost, for a 14.2% increase doubles living costs in 5 years. For this? This comes on top of a 23% sewer rate increase and several double-digit school tax increases. Look around! Who can afford that?
These deceivers have managed you get some of you excited over Lincoln County getting $722,000 a year in new discretionary funds. Well, based upon the data above this looks to be far less. This money is only coming to us because this scam makes Richmond and Columbia counties give up $7 million to bribe us into this wicked partnership with them. How is that right? A 1% new tax dedicated to Lincoln County would raise more revenue. Why are you excited about the same money or less with strings attached? Why are you willing to destroy your credibility for this?
Gov. Sonny Perdue said that DOT committed ENRON ACCOUNTING when it lost control of highway funds 4 years ago. Now they are all excited about getting their hands on this money. They want us to bail them out.
Mark Twain once said there were three kinds of lies….Lies….Damned lies and statistics……..now we can add a fourth lie – Tsplost.
My warning is this. Don’t go forth using these phony numbers after tonight. You know better and the people now know better.
Just vote no on T-splost. It is the only honorable thing to do.