Area citizens who'd like to offer an opinion on proposals for reforming Georgia's tax system are in luck.
But motorists who wanted to sound off on future transportation needs were in for a long drive.
It's hard not to notice that a couple of state-run meetings, expressly designed to solicit input from residents of our community, picked drastically different locations for their sessions.
The Tennille, Ga., district office of the Georgia Department of Transportation recently held two meetings to present the draft Fiscal Year 2011-14 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP.
Those meetings were held in Dublin and Milledgeville, at least two hours' drive from Columbia County. Obviously, the DOT is under no obligation to hold its meetings closer to us, but wouldn't it at least made a little sense to put one of those meetings near the county with the highest population of the more than two dozen counties in the district?
The good news is that the DOT will hold a separate session at a later date in larger counties, which likely means a session in Augusta. That should make it a little more reasonable drive for residents who'd like to offer their opinions on area highway projects. In the meantime, they're accepting input at georgiastip.com.
The tax session coming up Monday is more accessible. It's a meeting of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, a committee set up by the Legislature this year to study the state's tax system.
According to the hype, this committee is supposed to undertake a top to bottom review of Georgia's tax code and then present a proposal for reform to the Legislature next spring. Modeled somewhat after the Base Realignment and Closure and Commission, the committee will suggest reforms that lawmakers will either accept or reject as a whole.
To solicit local input, the committee is meeting from 4-7 p.m. Monday at the Doubletree Hotel in Augusta. Anyone who would like to address the committee can sign up by 5 p.m. Sunday at fiscalresearch.gsu.edu/taxcouncil/index.htm. Those who can't make it to the session also can offer comments on that Web site.
Traffic and taxes are two topics of perpetual interest, especially in our community. Citizens should do themselves a favor and make the effort to provide input to the politicians and bureaucrats who manage those areas, even if those officials don't always make it easy.
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