Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.


TSPLOST Myth: “It’s only a penny tax…You can afford a penny…”

by PV

As Agent Maxwell Smart might say, “Ehh, Chief? It looks like the old ‘it’s only a penny tax‘ trick!”

How many times have you heard the claim that “it’s only a penny” to guilt you into voting for T-SPLOST?

The pro-TSPLOST side thinks they can diminish the promotion in favor of getting people to vote for it by equating 1% with a “penny.”

The per capita salary for Georgians is $36,104. According to some statistics PV has reviewed, approximately 36% of per capita income in Georgia is spent on sales taxable goods and services.

So, how much more money per year will someone who earns $36,104 per year pay in this “extra penny tax” if T-SPLOST passes? Approximately $130.00. (Whatever your current yearly income actually is, multiply it by 0.0036 to obtain the actual dollar amount you will pay extra per year in sales taxes if T-SPLOST passes)

Now, to people like Maria Saporta and Ed Baker of The Atlanta Business Chronicle, or Paul Bennecke (lead consultant for the Atlanta-region’s pro-TSPLOST campaign), “$130.00” is just pocket change that all of us have that we should just hand over to the government to use for some “better” purpose that they think that money can be used for.

What these people fail to understand is, this “extra money” they think nobody will actually miss paying will be missed.

Just to give one example: In Cobb County, if you want to start a business in the unincorporated part of the county, you are required to buy a business license.

Cobb County charges license fees based on tiers of revenue ranges. The first tier is something on the order of $0.00 to $99,000 per year in gross revenue. The business license for this first tier is around $102.00 per year.

SO, any business-minded person in Cobb County who is grinding-out $36,104 per year (or less) for the next 10 years who comes upon an idea to start a new business won’t have that “$102.00” laying around to start that business because that money will be sucked into a vortex of “transportation projects” that have nothing to do with his/her idea for creating a new business.

AND, this same line of thinking works for any other county. Money does not grow on trees, and every choice people make on how they spend their own earned money is based on “opportunity costs.” Tax schemes like T-SPLOST transfers money from people in one part of the economy to give to people in another part of the economy.

Contrary to the claim by pro-TSPLOST proponents that T-SPLOST will “create jobs,” sure…it will “create jobs” by destroying the opportunity for other jobs the private sector can create more efficiently and for more useful purposes.

Organically-created businesses (i.e., ones created in the private sector by the creation of goods or services to sell to a marketplace of buyers) will generally produce longer-lasting, positive employment and service to the marketplace than government-created businesses.

Government can only do two things with wealth: Destroy it or transfer it. It never, in the history of mankind, can “create” more wealth than what could have been created with the money were it to remain in the private sector’s hands.

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Today's Deep Thought

Instead of having 'answers' on a math test, they should just call them 'impressions,' and if you got a different 'impression,' so what, can't we all be brothers?



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