"No one would notice."

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    Jun 15, 2015 6:56 AM GMT
    Let it be known that my intent, is in no way, to offend any conservatives. And I apologize in advance for being so damn long winded (I really do need to work on brevity). However, I almost keeled over and died today while at a charity event (I mean, I wanted to grab my chest and calle out to Elizabeth), when I bumped into a couple who I see annually. We talked for a bit, just to catch up, and then the conversation switched gears into politics.

    I hate discussing it (everyone does). Anyway, we talked about how the legislature was going to hold a special session in July to finalize the budget for the next fiscal year and how they (the couple) were frustrated because of one hot topic in SC; road infrastructure. I’m usually very opinionated, but this time I remained silent except for one particular point: the penny tax.

    This tax would be added on to every dollar spent, and used to help improve the roads throughout the state. The comment was then made, “It’s just a penny, no one would even notice it.” To which I very quickly replied, “That’s the problem, and I would notice it.” to which she replied, "You must be a Republican." I looked at her and replied, "Your judgement is off again in less than two minutes".

    Far too often our state/country is faced with financial issues, budget cuts, a deficit, lack of raises (for “valued” employees), frivolous spending, and the annual reports often times never reflect where or how the money is truly spent. And because it’s just a penny, “no one would notice it.”

    “No one would notice…” those four words leave a stain on my mind that I simply cannot washout. No amount of bleach, Tide, or wine could erase that statement as it pertains to this topic. I suppose when you make a certain amount of money, a penny isn’t missed. I suppose when you don’t account for the money you give, it won’t be missed.

    Hypothetically, if a single person’s net pay (after taxes and benefits) is $18,000.00 and let’s say they put up $1200.00 in savings leaving them with $16,800.00 in their pocket a year. Now…I haven’t read all the details of the bill and I know for certain that there are gaps in this example (good thing this is a hypothetical). 16,800 pennies equates to $168.00 a year. Does that still sound like a small amount? If you woke up. and $168.00 was missing from your bank account would you notice?

    Let’s see…if a person is making $10.00 an hour, it would take two days and 48 minutes of a third day to make that kind of money without it, itself, being taxed. How would you feel if you found out that every year when you pay your taxes and registration for your vehicle(s), or when you pay for gas, or income tax, that you are already paying for roads? The problem, in my very weak opinion, isn’t the amount of money that won’t be noticed, but rather that amount of money already missing.

    So how does this tie back into being insulted inadvertently? Shockingly, we’d have to #askrachel (if you haven’t looked the hash tag up on twitter, you should and you’re welcome). Perhaps it’s the Gemini in my (crazy as all hell, yet balanced and honest enough to think about the situation from a different perspective). Your thoughts?
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    Jun 15, 2015 2:30 PM GMT
    americans are so used to thinking a new road or bridge is 4free. The war we waged across the globe was totally necessary.

    it is getting to the point the average citizen's net wealth is insignificant and most of the money and influence is held by the 1%.
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    Jun 15, 2015 7:21 PM GMT
    See how far $168 goes towards paying for wheel rim or suspension damage or steering system misalignment from potholes in the road because they haven't been properly maintained. An additional penny sales tax is about as fair a way of raising revenue as I can think of, much more fair than an increase on property taxes or a fee added on to your local utility bills.
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    Jun 15, 2015 7:28 PM GMT
    DefensiveEnd saidSee how far $168 goes towards paying for wheel rim or suspension damage or steering system misalignment from potholes in the road because they haven't been properly maintained. An additional penny sales tax is about as fair a way of raising revenue as I can think of, much more fair than an increase on property taxes or a fee added on to your local utility bills.
    I think his concern is not so much about the amount, but about the question of will the money actually be used for road infrastructure or become "lost" as it often does.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jun 15, 2015 11:27 PM GMT
    DefensiveEnd saidSee how far $168 goes towards paying for wheel rim or suspension damage or steering system misalignment from potholes in the road because they haven't been properly maintained. An additional penny sales tax is about as fair a way of raising revenue as I can think of, much more fair than an increase on property taxes or a fee added on to your local utility bills.


    And the insurance premiums. People also don't realize that the condition of a state's roads play a big factor in insurance rates.

    But the downside of such a tax is that when an economy shrinks, that tax revenue shrinks with it.
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    Jun 15, 2015 11:38 PM GMT
    She said about the Penny Sales Tax Increase:

    “It’s just a penny, no one would even notice it.”

    To which I very quickly replied, “That’s the problem, and I would notice it.” to which she replied, "You must be a Republican."


    If she's a Democrat, she's an uninformed one.
    Republicans prefer sales taxes to property taxes.
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jun 16, 2015 1:45 AM GMT
    On July 4th, many Americans will take some time to say how proud they are to be an American. If they were really proud, you would think that they would want to make sure that the country is being taken care of properly. Why does the richest country in the World need to have so many run down roads, bridges, and cities? As a society, we have a responsibility to make sure that our infrastructure is being taken care of. That has never been an inexpensive thing to do.

    If they want to cut costs, they should consider designing cities in ways that need less roads and encourage more pedestrian traffic.

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    Jun 16, 2015 2:00 AM GMT
    ". Why does the richest country in the World need to have so many run down roads, bridges, and cities? As a society, we have a responsibility to make sure that our infrastructure is being taken care of. "


    Hmmmm, Republicans may not listen to the idea of our 'social responsibility' but I'd like to think that few conservatives are stupid enough to believe that we can go on as an economic superpower without investing in our broken infrastructure.
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    Jun 17, 2015 3:59 AM GMT
    168 might seem like a small price to pay, and I'd agree to a certain extent. And yes infrastructure must be maintained. Neither of those issues are my argument.

    I'm simply saying that money for our infrastructure is coming from everywhere. Sales and use, federal money, property taxes, state income taxes, registration fees, etc...and there is still a problem? I really do feel like the problem in this very red state is accountability.

    There are roughly 767,598 people in my city. Let's say only half of them are working adults who pay taxes on a regular basis. Let's say they are all paying the 168.00. That means the city, is collecting $128,956,464.00 (that's 128 million, 956 thousand, 4 hundred and 64 dollars a year). It cost about 2 million (includes G&A, overhead, fringe) dollars a mile to pave a road per lane. That would get roughly 64,478,232 (64 million, 478 thousand, 232) miles of road taken care of. Now..I know there are huge gaps in my example. bridges cost way more...etc. But there is no way Columbia has that amount of highway, roadway, bridges. And public transit is a joke. Bike lanes??? Forget about it. You suggest make the city pedestrian friendly, but the way this city is set up. (Hills, heat, and humidity)

    So I simply want to know I'm I the only one who would notice? I like to see results, and receipts.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14336

    Jun 17, 2015 11:59 PM GMT
    metta8 saidOn July 4th, many Americans will take some time to say how proud they are to be an American. If they were really proud, you would think that they would want to make sure that the country is being taken care of properly. Why does the richest country in the World need to have so many run down roads, bridges, and cities? As a society, we have a responsibility to make sure that our infrastructure is being taken care of. That has never been an inexpensive thing to do.

    If they want to cut costs, they should consider designing cities in ways that need less roads and encourage more pedestrian traffic.

    Well why don't we invest and improve existing infrastructure rather than building more new infrastructure that really isn't needed. A good example is the extension of I-69 from Indianapolis to Laredo. The money being wasted on that brand new interstate could be better spent on existing roads and existing utility lines etc. Why do we keep sprawling further out and building brand new homes, schools, utilities when there is available existing housing stock and serviceable infrastructure in both central cities and first ring suburbs. Our society is shortsighted and wasteful. icon_mad.gif
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    Jun 18, 2015 12:07 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    metta8 said
    If they want to cut costs, they should consider designing cities in ways that need less roads and encourage more pedestrian traffic.



    What a quaint idea... if it was 1776.

    Actually it's a great idea, and is already in practice in some cities.

    Pedestrians and cycling will be the preferred mode of urban transportation in the future, because it's WAY easier to get around that way. All cars do is sit at red lights.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14336

    Jun 18, 2015 12:17 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    southbeach1500 said
    metta8 said
    If they want to cut costs, they should consider designing cities in ways that need less roads and encourage more pedestrian traffic.



    What a quaint idea... if it was 1776.

    Actually it's a great idea, and is already in practice in some cities.

    Pedestrians and cycling will be the preferred mode of urban transportation int he future, because it's WAY easier to get around that way. All cars do is sit at red lights.
    It is also way safer to get around on foot or on bike in a densely populated area. Also it is easier to park and lock a bike than it is to find a parking space for a car. Less cars and more bikes and pedestrians will also help save countless lives every year. It is time for the U.S. to end its love affair with the automobile and limited access superhighways along with land wasting suburban sprawl.