The Lee Tax Shift
Friday, August 3, 2012
Columbia County, GA
By Kurt Huttar
Last Tuesday, July 31, 2012, saw the completion of the biggest tax shift in CSRA and Georgia history with the passage of the 1% sales tax for transportation called T-Splost. Less than two months after Columbia County Representatives Lee Anderson and Ben Harbin voted for $tens of millions in new sales tax exemptions for Delta Airlines, Delta, Georgia's domineering airline, contributed $225,000 used to convince easily-swayed voters to vote themselves a 33% sales tax increase on food.
Perhaps Delta, once notorious for sending passengers on the last leg back to Augusta on buses, wants safer roads on which to transport shafted customers upon whom it foisted an $8 billion tax increase.
Anderson, now a candidate for the 12th Congressional District seat now held by Democrat John Barrow, voted to cut Delta's sales taxes but voted for these sales tax increases on us in the middle class. Here we find Lee dining with George Bowen, the lobbyist who greased through the fuel tax exemption for Delta and Georgia Power.
Worse is the behavior of Georgia Power Company, who gave $395,000 to deluge us with pro T-Splost propaganda after the same legislation saved them $hundreds of millions. It is noted that said cost savings supposedly are given back to consumers via fuel adjustments to their rates, but how many citizens trust those calculations? This also came after Lee Anderson voted in 2009 for Georgia Power's advance billing of $1 billion in profits, hidden as "construction costs." We got double digit rate increases from that, too.
Yes, we voters are now going to have to pay Lee's 14% T-Splost sales tax increase on those double-digit, advance-profit charges on our power bills.
Here, the Georgia Gang, including former Augusta Chronicle opinion editor, Phil Kent, questioned the rush by Lee Anderson and others to pass the bill.
Lee could not be dissuaded by pleas of "Read the BILL, Lee!"
Anderson, a hay farmer, also voted for a $500 million a year hospital bed tax. How did he make a “No Tax Increase” Pledge with Grover Norguist's Amercans for Tax Reform and vote for these tax increases? Can we believe his promises?
It was most frustrating for us in Columbia County to only be able to put up a few score “VOTE NO” signs, then go home to find pro-T-Splost mailers in the mailbox.
I had to drive by scads of “Vote Yes” signs illegally placed in medians and rights of way, like this one:
I had to listen to broadcast appeals funded by these corporations who just got sales tax cuts.
Finally, I got a batch of signs from Augusta County Commissioner Joe Bowles, who courageously fought adoption of this terrible tax.
On August 21, we have chance to just say 'No!” once again. This time it is a vote against legislators stupidly subordinating our Columbia County votes to those of ignorant and corrupt Augustans. This time it is a vote mindful that this dastardly T-Splost tax begins to be collected January 1.
Just say no to Lee Anderson for Congress.
Lobbyists love him. The middle class groans under the burdens their orgies of money and excess we are left with.
Isn't it time the people won one?***