Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, July 3, 2016

Flummoxing the voters

The author of a recent editorial (“The sales tax that never goes away,” 6/24/2016) is all giddy in tone with the second to last line: “Much of the improvements” (referring to projects financed from the Bibb County SPLOST taxes) “will be paid for by people who don’t live here.” Is the author referring to the Georgia Tech 2009 economic study that our local politicians use in selling SPLOSTs to us?

Refresher: That study reckons that non-Bibb County folks pay 74 percent of our SPLOST revenues from purchases they make in our fair county. I have not read that report but wonder how was 74 percent concocted? What is the methodology?

More importantly, I am absent of the logic in making that point and I don’t believe the percentage either. Plus, what does it save me in any purchases?

Listen folks, I go to the IMAX theater and pay a sales tax for the ticket. After the movie I go across the street to get a New York pizza at Johnny’s and buy a bottle of Chianti at Wine Styles and, you guessed it, I pay a sales tax. In my nine years here no one from Monroe County, Timbuktu or even my old hometown of Hoboken has walked in and reimbursed me 74 percent for the sales tax I paid.

So, what is the point and why would I care that over 70 percent of any SPLOST revenue comes from outside Bibb? Is there any logic in the line of selling our SPLOSTs with out-of-towners financing them for my enticement to vote for a SPLOST?

Finally, in my research I have found that that 74 percent figure is inflated; using proper methodologies, out-of-towners pay 22-34 percent of sales tax revenues in most states, cities and counties.

Bobby Komlo

Macon

Baltimore taxpayers owed apology

Citizens of Baltimore should be really pissed at their city council. They paid $6.4 million to Freddie Gray’s family as a settlement in the incident where Mr. Gray died while in police custody, effectively admitting liability for his death.

Just days after the incident, an obviously incompetent prosecutor took it upon herself to file criminal charges against the six policemen involved in the incident. No grand jury was involved. Fast forward to June 2016, the third cop tried in the case is acquitted. The first two trials ended in acquittal and a hung jury. Evidence provided by local and national media indicated that Mr. Gray’s unfortunate demise was pretty much self-inflicted.

This whole situation reeks of political correctness and incompetence on the part of the criminal justice officials in Baltimore. Yes, the city should rescind the settlement and apologize to the taxpayers of Baltimore.

Jerry Norris

Warner Robins

Unsafe rezoning

Will our local government protect our children and motorists from this unsafe and unnecessary rezoning petition at Ga. 41/White Road?

There are so many reasons that this rezoning shouldn’t happen. First and foremost, rezoning part of a subdivision to commercial property so a Wal-Mart Market can build adjacent to an elementary school is extremely unsafe. The existing congestion during the school year is already ridiculous. Adding a grocery store right next to it will cause more accidents and injuries to our students and motorists. There are already four Wal-Mart Supercenters or markets and a half dozen other grocery stores within minutes. There are several pharmacies, convenience stores and fuel pumps already here. Why is this plan even being considered?

There are 20-plus empty storefronts within two miles of this land being petitioned. When are our leaders going to stand up and say no? Isn’t there enough blight already? Shouldn’t our safety be top priority? Does the need for revenue driving this? And what about our neighborhoods? If we allow developers to commit and then just change their mind because the highest bidder wins, then none of our neighborhoods are safe. You think you’re in a safe residential community? Well, watch out — tomorrow the highest bidder might want to put a Wal-Mart in your neighborhood, too.

Michelle Herron

Byron

Gun letter devoid of facts

Jim Costello’s Wednesday gun letter failed to contain a single fact. There are over 300 million guns in America. Of the 32,000 gun-related deaths a year, one-half are suicides. No president has ever wanted to confiscate our guns — including President Obama. It would be physically and politically impossible to do such.

What 90 percent of Americans want are universal background checks on all gun purchases. And how about mandatory gun-safety training that our new state gun law omits to require? Florida requires it. Assault rifles are for killing people, not animals. Most owners never use them.

Countries like Australia and England have banned most guns and their annual homicides by guns have been drastically reduced. Facts don’t lie. I was always a lousy shot! What about you, Jim?

Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Benghazi report

Hillary Clinton is a liar! After the Benghazi report was released showing that two to three hours after the attack started, while our men were fighting for their lives, Hillary was in a meeting where five of the 10 action items for the meeting were CYA items to discuss a video that they would claim was the reason for the attack.

The report also produced evidence that within a day of the attack she told both her daughter and the Egyptian foreign minister it was a planned attack by terrorists. Yet she, Obama and his entire administration lied to the families of the victims, to America and to the world, by saying it was caused by a video. And to this day, the only person who Obama put in jail was the poor sap who made the video.

In my opinion, the way to prevent another Benghazi is to not vote for Hillary Clinton! When the hot line phone rang at 3 a.m., both Hillary and Obama were sound asleep with a do-not-disturb sign on the door

Conrad Quagliaroli

Woodstock

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