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Poll Shows Support for Transportation Tax

According to results, a majority of respondents favor the implementation of a 1 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects in the metro Atlanta region.

Though the vote is still several months away, the push is on to determine what level of support exists for a proposed 1 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects.

The tax -- commonly referred to as the TSPLOST or transportation special purpose local option sales tax -- would add an extra penny to every dollar purchase for the next 10 years. The proceeds would be used to fund a specified list of transportation projects.

A poll commissioned by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Channel 2 Action News shows that 51 percent of those surveyed currently favor the tax increase.

In August, the executive committee of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable voted unanimously to approve a to be funded by the TSPLOST. Roughly .

The draft list also contained several Dacula area projects including a bridge upgrade at Dacula Road and Highway 29 and well as the .

The bridge project is a scaled down version of the . However, the $10 million bridge upgrade is a much-needed improvement.

also made the draft list. A $33 million interchange at I-85 and Highway 324 made the list, as did a $50 million allocation for Gwinnett’s Express bus service. The draft list also included a $23 million grade separation project at Highway 316 and Harbins Road and a $51 million grade separation at Highway 316 and Highway 29.

According to the AJC poll, support for the tax is strongest in Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties. In Cobb and Gwinnett, support averaged around 48 percent.

Several public input meetings are being held throughout the metro area as officials attempt to build support for the TSPLOST. The meetings are the public’s last chance to have a say in what projects are included on the final project list. The , 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

The draft list currently under consideration must be approved by the full Roundtable by Oct. 15 before the list is submitted to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

At that point, efforts will begin in earnest to convince a tax-weary public that the TSPLOST holds the answer for the region’s transportation woes. The regarding the potential benefits of the TSPLOST.

The .

R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew September 26, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Lead-in for the AJC article pretty much sums up the 6 million dollar ad campaign to sell this thing: “Metro Atlanta voters know LITTLE to NOTHING about a high-stakes transportation sales tax they’ll consider next year, and they don’t quite trust it. But they’re so concerned about the region’s future that a slim majority of 51 percent say they’ll vote for it anyway.” Combine this with an ARC website that doesn't let you directly vote AGAINST an item and you get even more convoluted results... Come on ARC, does your website only capture one vote per IP address? Why can’t you clearly vote NO at either at the line item or at least at screen page number level? It’s disingenuous at best to assume EVERYBODY is for “it”
Ron Buice September 27, 2011 at 12:03 PM
Maybe I've missed the numbers but, how much would we get just to keep our 1% for Gwinnett transportation needs instead of throwing our $ in the "region hat"...seems most of the $ is going to support MARTA.
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 27, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Hi Ron - Local governments get to split 15 percent of the TSPLOST proceeds. (Click here for more: http://dacula.patch.com/articles/gdot-releases-updated-tsplost-projections) In a nutshell though: Updated revenues projections released on June 15 by state economist Kenneth Heaghney show the Atlanta metro region could receive as much as $8.4 billion in tax proceeds for transportation. In the worst-case scenario, the metro area would only take in $6.8 billion. Of those funds, 85 percent would be allocated for regional transportation projects. The remaining 15 percent would be sent to local governments to fund local projects. Note, that 15 percent is divvied up between all the local governments in the 10-county metro region. The City of Dacula would get a cut, Gwinnett County would get a cut and so forth.
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM
@Ron - I don't know how much we would get with our own 1 percent (I would guess that would vary greatly by region), but you are right - a big chunk is allocated for MARTA/mass transit projects.
Cynthia Montgomery September 27, 2011 at 04:47 PM
If I wanted to ride a bus in Atlanta I would have bought a house in Atlanta. READ "LIVE IN DACULA -PAY FOR ATLANTA" (search this site) FOR A MORE INDEPT LOOK AT THIS TOPIC. The MARTA system is now under funded because many citizens, realizing that it is a bottomless pit with no way to keep it alive without continued raising of the taxes of those involved, have voted to opt out of the city of Atlanta IE.. Sandy Springs. I have lived here in Georgia for over 45 years and I well remember when the MARTA program told us the price to ride the busses would NEVER GO ABOVE 35 CENTS!!!! DO not let the Atlanta Journal survey lead you to believe more are in favor than not! Until you have read, "HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS" (required reading for UGA public relations students) understand these numbers are put in place to make citizens believe they are in the minority and they are relying on the mental process that everyone want to be with the winning party! Believe me when I say voting no in this economy is a smart decision. "I VOTE NO!
Chuck Warbington September 27, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Would encourage each of you to educate yourself before making statements for or against the transportation referendum. Alot of rhetoric (on both sides mind you) that make it hard to know what is right and wrong. Visit www.atlantaregionalroundtable.com for a list of the projects. Gwinnett generates (estimate) $1.2+B over a 10 year time frame. Based on the current project list for Gwinnett and the 15% that will be divided up between Gwinnett County and the City, we will get back directly in Gwinnett County projects approxmately $1.1B. The difference being projects like corrections at I-85 and I-285 and possibly I-85 and GA 400 help Gwinnett voters and indirectly help Gwinnett.
Cynthia Montgomery September 27, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Hey Chuckie,, get a clue.. some of us have been here long enough to know what is being rammed down our throats. Just because you are wasting millions of dollars trying to buy this vote, that will not pass the truth test, with those who have been through this process before. It is our right to NOT WNAT TO PAY MORE TAXES FOR THE MARTA SYSTEM. NICE to be asked by the BIG BOYS of Atlanta to play ball but, thanks all the same I will take my tax ball and go home this time! If I do not agree with you, you do not have the right to call a person uneducated. DIfference of an opinion does not make one dumb CHUCKIE but wise to know when to say NO! I do not want to pay for MARTA for the rest of my life and the rest of my grand children's lives. I have had many buyers move down from NJ and NY and when I ask why they all say the same thing too high TAXES!!!!!!! If I want to be in Atlanta I will buy a house there NO WAIT.. I don't want a a $600 a month property tax bill nor a failing transit authority, nor do I want politician like CHUCKIE telling me to educate myself because I don't want to give him 85 cents and get a mere 15% divided by 10 counties to have the trappings of a failed system here in Gwinnett County. KEEP YOUR85% cents and we here in Gwinnett can tax ourselves if we want to and keep all 100% of it to build our roads! Why don't you spend your time coming up with programs to benefit Gwinnett and not way to take Gwinnett down the road to a life time of taxation, CHUCKIE!
Chuck Warbington September 27, 2011 at 08:30 PM
Cynthia, No politician here just a 7th generation Gwinnettian looking to make sure Gwinnett (and metro Atlanta) gets out of the traffic mess that we are in. With the business that I am in (economic development), I can assure you that traffic is one of the top reasons why businesses do not move here (or leave). Charlotte, NC is winning this war for business in the SE. With your real estate background, I am sure you know that. Based on your comments one will assume that you obviously have not read the project list for Gwinnett. I would implore you to do so based on the link I provided above. No Gwinnett money is going to MARTA. Look at it yourself. There are projects in the Dacula area such as replacement of the bridge over the railroad at Dacula Road and SR8 as well as grade separation projects on SR 316. For what it is worth.....I share your concerns with MARTA. System was not built correctly and has been a drain. I for one and with you on bailing our Fulton and Dekalb. We can stand arm and arm on that point. Systems like BART (in California), DART (in Texas), and the LINK system (in NC) are better examples of what could be.
Cynthia Montgomery September 27, 2011 at 09:09 PM
CHUCKIE, My daughter lived in Charlotte for 3 years and the traffic is a mess in Charlotte, just like here. I planned my trips so I would not get caught in rush hour or shall it be renamed snail trail hour. I don't need another tax me please scheme from our government leaders, whom themselves have poor financial skills! Remember the wonderful lanes on I-85 that were supposed to reward those who had two or more in their cars that is now the "RICH DITCH" lane only for those who can afford to go fast! CAN YOU SAY CLASS WARFARE! No thank you, Chuckie, can you and all your fellow leaders not come up with a better plan? I can appreciate the good old boys here in Gwinnett feeling all pumped up by being asked to the big dance by the popular team but hey now don;t we have any smarts out here in Gwinnett? Can't we come up with a plan that will keep our taxes in our own pockets? Check again about the bridge to somewhere over here in Dacula. We have paved millions of miles of roads here in Gwinnett County for 100's of years without the hinderance of a sinking MARTA and Atlanta and by golly I believe we can continue to do it again. Just tell those nice broke do gooders from Atlanta NO THANK YOU!!! Oh and in case you have not heard CHUCKIE......CALIFORNIA IS BROKE....but maybe if we hurry, maybe, we can send them our 85%! LOL sometimes I amuse myself LOL! NO CONSEQUENCE - NO CHANGE
Cynthia Montgomery September 27, 2011 at 09:45 PM
Chuckie, now I can put a name with a disgrace, as in economic development! As a realtor I was amazed when the schools were over crowded, roads jammed, students in trailers, and not enough jobs were an issue and the leaders would just say MORE MORE MORE! We kept thinking ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH! Well now that the roads are at a stand still and you want us to pay up maybe, just maybe we should say NO to those who were developing our economics years ago that got us into this TRAFFIC MESS! NO CHUCKIE.. ENOUGH already you made this mess with your wonderful plans for congested roads and highways and I for one do not want to reward your poor planning with more money to spend. Sorry buy count me and millions of other out on this one. The citizens and voters have finally awoken and we see the mess that sleeping for the last generation has caused us. Over taxation with no representation and worse than that the big power players still think we are S T U P I D and will go along with their plan to get rich of the money of the working many NO THANK YOU CHUCKIE!!!
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew September 28, 2011 at 07:49 PM
So Cynthia, we can put you down as a definite maybe then? (As the pollster closes his notebook and walks away)
Cynthia Montgomery September 29, 2011 at 02:49 AM
R. You get it! And that my dear voting friend is how pollsters work their magic! I myself have done political polling, it is very interesting to hear the opinions of the voting public. It is very hard to get someone to take the time to answer your questions. I always feel for a pollster so I always give them the "time o day" What I find most AMAZING is that the jJournal did not preface the report with the standard margin of error of plus or minus 3% and DING! DING! DING!, we have a winner with NOW A 48% of the questioned public is saying NO PLEASE!!! And now you may take your clip board and MOVE ON! Kinda like MOVE ON.org!

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