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On traffic, growth and property taxes

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POSTED: March 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.

My wife doesn’t know this and she’ll probably kill me when she finds out, since she thinks I have better sense:

I’ve decided to run for office. Maybe.

I’m not sure which office I’m talking about -- governor, perhaps -- and it really doesn’t matter, since I’ve got about as much chance of getting elected as a piece of concrete yard art has of winning a Grammy.

After all, I don't have an organization, or money, or powerful friends. Plus, I hate public speaking and I ain't good looking.

But I do have a platform.

First, it’s really getting crowded around here and the infrastructure in Georgia is taking a beating. So I’ll put Georgia on "no move-in" status for one year. That means no matter which direction folks may come from – north or south – they can’t move into the state. This might allow us to catch up a bit and figure out where we want to go. Maybe we'll like the change of pace.

The exception to the "no move-in" rule is our men and women in the military and our veterans, who have earned the right to live anywhere they want.

Similarly, we've got a traffic problem. You can’t go anywhere anymore without 1,000s of people trying to get there before you do and most of them can't drive.

And as bad as it is here, it's even worse in Atlanta.

My solution is simple. I think the DMV needs to put a cap on licenses and only issue one when one is given up or taken away.

For too long, we’ve addressed the issue of traffic from the supply standpoint – building more roads to accommodate more drivers.

Trouble is, we apparently can’t afford to keep building roads and we might run out of space before we run out of the demand, so maybe it’s time to start limiting drivers.

In other words, you want a license junior? You’ll have to wait until either grandpa or grandma stops driving or hope they leave it to you in their will.

I'd exempt the military from this, too. After all, if you serve this country you should get a permanent USA driver's license and it should be good everywhere. That perk alone might inspire some more folks to serve their country.

And to the critics of this measure, no I didn't have to wait for a license. But just because it was done one way a long time ago doesn't mean we have to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Then there's this water issue, which can be boiled down to this: There’s only so much of it, always has been. But the need for it keeps expanding. We’ve got to realize the drought is a wake up call and we have to start conserving water.

That's why you won’t hear me telling Atlanta area kids to go swimming in pools while Lake Lanier turns into a mud puddle. Instead, I'll be the guy ratting people out for violating the state's outdoor watering restrictions.

And finally, taxes.

This is a big issue for me, perhaps the biggest. I’m tired of paying more and more property taxes just because other people find my neck of the woods desirable.

So if I'm elected, your house (and mine) will be taxed on what it cost when it was bought. Period. When you sell it, you pay taxes on what you sell it for.

No more tying our property taxes to something as capricious as the real estate market.

Critics may say this will leave local governments hurting for money.

I say better them than taxpayers -- who are funding this whole experiment anyway.

And finally, I believe in term limits, because I know people will get tired of looking at me after four long years.

So, if elected to whatever office I decide to run for, I promise to step down after one term and go fishing.

 

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