You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the nation. Many other large metropolitan areas rely heavily on mass transit. Atlanta is heavily suburban and spread out, making it difficult to service all of us with fast, affordable transit alternatives.
As many of you know, we will be asked on July 31 to vote up or down on a transportation 1% sales tax called T-SPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax). It reads, “Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight.” First of all, this ballot initiative is worded so as to make it slightly bent toward a positive vote. Who wants to vote “no” to creating more jobs?
If you’re unsure about the facts of this T-SPLOST and how it will affect you as both a Georgian and as a resident of Cherokee County, keep reading.
On the pro side: The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area including
Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and
Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta. They are the group that
drafted the legislation. If you go to www.untieatlanta.com you will see a list of projects and their costs. In their opinion, this 10-year contract will drastically reduce the amount of congestion felt on our roadways throughout the metro area as well as create or support 200,000 jobs. Projects range from widening and aligning roads to reworking interchanges to pumping funds into rapid transit such as MARTA.
ARC spent many years coming up with the giant proposal. They feel that these specific improvements will be what Atlanta needs to relieve some of the traffic problems and make Atlanta more inviting to businesses looking to locate here.
Because Cherokee County is small (population wise) compared to the other counties in our region, we will get fewer projects completed. On the list: the widening of the bridge on Bells Ferry near the Little River Marina and the widening of Highway 140. A full wish list can be seen online, along with the proposed costs for each as well as completion date. Go to Untie Atlanta and click on the project map.
- It represents the largest tax increase in GA’s history
- It is unconstitutional, putting Cherokee County into a regional authority
- It will burden families because it taxes groceries, an area not heavily taxed before
- It creates a new government bureaucracy with no oversight or accountability
- Politicians and not engineers put together the W-SPLOST wish list
- 52% of the T-SPLOST budget will go to transit. Cherokee County has no transit options and therefore, will not benefit directly
This referendum contracts to keep the tax for 10 years. Many of the projects stretch out longer than 10 years, leaving us forced to either renew the tax or be stuck with unfinished projects. Check out the fact sheet online.
When has government EVER gotten rid of a tax once it is established? Can you
say GA 400?
Even if we in Cherokee County choose to vote down this initiative and it passes overall, we will pay a PENALTY for not passing it here.