Tag: Transportation

Friday Facts: April 17, 2015

It’s Friday! Quotes of NoteGood teachers are so important to student learning that if the lowest-performing 5 to 7 percent of all teachers were replaced with just average teachers, the long-term benefits to the nation’s human capital would be enough to increase annual economic growth rates by as much as 1 percent annually, according to estimates from Stanford economist Eric Hanushek.” – Paul E. Peterson “Culturally enriching field trips matter. … [S]eeing plays is an effective way to teach academic content; increases student tolerance by providing exposure to a broader, more diverse world; and improves the ability of students to recognize what other people are thinking or feeling.” – Jay P. Greene, “Learning from Live Theater”… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  As expected, transportation funding and the Governor’s proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia’s legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.  Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly on how the 2015 legislative session affects the average Georgian.  Transportation: You will be paying about 3 cents per gallon in gas taxes more than you did over the last four years. This tax increase, along with annual fees on alternative fuel vehicles and heavy trucks and a $5-a-day charge on hotel and motel rooms, adds up to more than $900 million a year in needed transportation funding.  Legislators also fixed many problems with the Transportation Special Purpose… View Article

Friday Facts: April 10, 2015

It’s Friday! Quotes of Note “The professional licensing industry is filled with much more intrigue than one may assume. Regulation is often the product of a chummy relationship between elected officials and those in business who want to cut down on their competition to maximize profits. Every year, parades of people representing a variety of vocations travel to state capitols across the nation asking for their fields to be licensed and regulated.” – Scott Reeder “[W]e have a criminal-justice system with too many opportunities for generating defendants, too few inhibitions on prosecutors, and ongoing corrosion of the rule and morality of law. Congress, the ultimate cause of all this, has work to undo.” – George Will “America is a… View Article

UPDATED: Transportation Funding Update

How did we get here? The portion of Georgia’s motor fuel tax that is dedicated to transportation funding is among the lowest in the nation. Over the last decade, state leaders have diverted funds for maintenance into sorely needed new projects. Today, not only do we have a backup of needed maintenance (not unlike the years of neglected maintenance of the Atlanta sewer system) and additional debt to service, but we also need added investment to relieve some of the nation’s worst traffic congestion in Metro Atlanta and other bottlenecks throughout the state. What is the need? In our lengthy study, we determined Georgia needs $1 billion a year of new revenue to meet ongoing maintenance needs as well… View Article

Friday Facts: March 27, 2015

It’s Friday! Please note: FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of our donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, you can help with a tax-deductible contribution that advances our important mission. Click here. Quotes of Note “Not enough citizens are schooled well on the Constitution. Many can recite the Declaration of Independence, who signed, and list the Articles and Amendments, but lack a deep understanding of how these directly affect and protect the quality of our lives.” – Sue Horn Chappell (publisher/editor, StarNews of Caroll County) “[T]he not-so-hidden secret about occupational licensure laws is that they enable incumbent providers to protect their own incomes by locking newcomers and competitors out of markets by artificial government force.” – Walter View Article

Friday Facts: March 20, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 26: Foundation President Kelly McCutchen is a panelist at an Atlanta discussion on criminal justice reform in Georgia, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Find out more about, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader: How Georgia’s Approach to Criminal Justice Is Impacting Well-Being,” at http://bit.ly/1b5eNTQ. Watch this space: The keynote speaker at the Foundation’s next event is Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Topic: “License to Work,” a focus on jobs, licensing and the role of government. Quotes of Note “Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.” – Edward R. Murrow The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison Legislative update View Article
Everyone loves rankings. While it’s very helpful to understand where you rank compared to your peers, it’s also important to make sure the comparisons are valid. When comparing state taxing and spending it’s important to account for two factors: cost of living and differences in state and local government roles. The cost of living in California, for example, is higher than in Georgia, so the salary for a similar government job will usually be higher in California. Therefore, comparing per capita spending between states can be misleading. This is why economists often prefer to compare spending as a percentage of state personal income. Combining state and local data is also important because some states, like Georgia, are very decentralized, with… View Article

Friday Facts: March 13, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: The deadline is MONDAY to register for, “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online here. March 26: Foundation President Kelly McCutchen is a panelist at an Atlanta discussion on criminal justice reform in Georgia, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Find out more about, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader: How Georgia’s Approach to Criminal Justice Is Impacting Well-Being,” at http://bit.ly/1b5eNTQ. Quotes of Note “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” – Frederick Douglass “The welfare state is the… View Article

Friday Facts: March 6, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online by Monday, March 16, here. Quotes of Note “Answer me in principle. I mean, is it not the case that if the only reasonable interpretation of a particular provision produces disastrous consequences in the rest of the statute, it nonetheless means what it says. Is that true or not?” – Justice Antonin Scalia, King v. Burwell “Unlike government bureaucracies, private firms in a competitive environment are eager to maximize the net returns of projects, so they find new ways View Article

Thoughts on the gas tax

The Tax Foundation has released a new report to help federal lawmakers figure out how to address transportation challenges. Some of the advice could also prove helpful to Georgia as we struggle with similar problems. From the Tax Foundation’s press release: If lawmakers decide to look for revenue instead of cutting trust fund spending, their source of revenue should be long-term and should connect drivers as closely to the cost of funding the roads as possible, according to the latest report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. One option is to increase the gas tax, adjust it to inflation, and offset that increase by reducing another tax by the same amount of revenue. Besides being revenue neutral, there are good policy… View Article

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