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ARC: T-SPLOST in '12 to raise $8 billion across region

If a regional 1-percent sales tax is approved by voters in July 2012, it would pull up to $8 billion dollars for regional transportation improvements in the Atlanta area, including Fayette County, according to estimates from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the region’s needs for the next 10 years, tabulated at $106 billion, ARC representatives told the Fayette County Commission last week.

ARC’s Kathryn Lawler noted that of the projected $7-8 billion in revenue over its 10-year lifespan, 15 percent of the funds would be set aside for metro Atlanta’s 10 counties to share for any transportation use they wish even if those projects are non-regional in scope. Those funds would be distributed based on a formula that takes into account each county’s number of lane miles and population, she added.

The remaining 85 percent of the regional transportation SPLOST, however, must be used for regional transportation projects, which can include not just road improvements but also transit projects as well.

Fayette County will not be required to fund any transit or public transportation projects in its list of regional projects, Lawler said.

“There is no indication that you must or should consider that,” said ARC Chairman Tad Leithead. “There is no requirement that any county be part of any type of regional transit system.”

“I just wanted to hear you say that,” replied Commissioner Herb Frady, “because people are going to pick this up and read it and they’ll start throwing tomatoes at me.”

Public transportation projects have traditionally been frowned upon in the mostly-affluent Fayette County area.

Local governments will have input on the list of regional projects that will be tied to the vote on the regional transportation special purpose local option sales tax, Lawler said. The state’s transportation planning director will cull a list of projects but the final vote rests with a “roundtable” group consisting of 21 members including the county commission chairmen of each county, an elected mayor from each county and the mayor of Atlanta.

The legislation that created the potential for the regional transportation SPLOST contains penalties for regions which fail to adopt it, as such areas will see their local match for state transportation projects rise from 20 percent to 30 percent. Conversely there is a built-in benefit for regions which approve the regional transportation SPLOST: their local match for projects will shrink from 20 percent to 10 percent, Lawler explained.

If a regional transportation SPLOST is approved, a citizen review panel will be created to oversee implementation of the project list, Lawler said. That review panel will have the power to ask for information from any state agency at any time “to make sure that what is promised actually gets delivered,” Lawler said.

The enabling legislation for the regional transportation SPLOST also allows individual counties to have a referendum on whether or not they can join the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), but none of the counties will be required to have such a vote.

The regional transportation SPLOST, however, is a mandatory vote and will be taken as a region-wide referendum in July 2012. The votes will be tabulated region-wide, meaning they will be aggregated to determine the result.

As a consequence of that vote tabulation process, it is possible that a county like Fayette could vote down the new tax, but if the entire region votes for it, Fayette like the other nine counties in the region would have to assess the new sales tax.



PTC Observer's picture

there a SPLOST, everywhere a SPLOST SPLOST.

Where is Mayor Haddix? He has to love this one.

I guess the "region" will be paying for downtown Atlanta's roadword forever!


Don't forget that we got:

1. Part of a western bypass to nowhere..
2. New crosswalks for the deer on Hwy92 and Hwy 314.
3. New intersection at New Hope and Kenwood (which is more dangerous now than it ever was)
4. Fayetteville is going to get YAUL (yet another useless light) at Arby's

5. Forgot the terrible patch job on New Hope Rd that makes it now dangerous for cyclists and motorcyclists.

NUK_1's picture

Those 5 examples are great illustrations of how "improvements" can go totally wrong and seem to be examples of "well, we have this road money, let's spend it on SOMETHING." All 5 are/were huge wastes of money and accomplished nothing.

doright's picture

Don't count on the SPLOST money gentleman, I believe the good people of GA will do the right thing and vote down SPLOST. At some point I hope you will learn the lesson that you need to cut spending. The citizens of this great state should not have to continually be taxed, even if it is a penny. Find another way to support your spending addiction!

Come on. With my wife looking for work. Can you squeeze blood from a turnip?

ginga1414's picture

Amen, amen, and amen again.

NUK_1's picture

I think most us knew already that MARTA wasn't coming to FC and any claims about Smith "voting for MARTA" were BS, but at least it's in print for all to see and then reflect on whether or not they believed Brown in the first place.

Won't miss Smith at all but his replacement Brown on the commission and Haddix as mayor in PTC is downright scary. FC has survived a lot of boneheads over time but I am not counting on that luck to never run out.

Cyclist's picture

an estimated $7-8 billion for each 1¢ and the ARC estimates that the region really needs $106 billion. So by the math, this means that an additional sales tax of 14¢ would be needed in order to meet the ARC estimate. So given that we are already paying 5¢ sales tax, the new tax burden will be almost 20¢ for each dollar. That's right gang, 20% of each dollar spent will be directed back to the "guv".

Now I know that is a purely linear approach but heck the state and local governments are under pressure to raise funding and I suspect sales tax will go up. This additional SPLOST, if it were to occur, will be a BIG burden on the middle class and it will very devastating on those on the lower end of the financial ladder.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

No, that is 1% of everything you spend on purchases for the next ten years or so. I don't know what 7-8 billion per 1 cent means!

I would estimate that it could cost you $5,000! And most others.
Then thee is the other 6-7% sales taxes and more added over the ten years!

Then the 30% "fair tax!

Then the new State income tax needed to bail out all of the states now deeply in debt.

As usual the bottom 10% and the top 10% will be OK and the rest of us will pay the bill.

Solution: Control crooks!

Cyclist's picture

Yes, control the crooks!

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

ginga1414's picture

I hope we all remember to contact Mr. Haddix and our new commission to voice our feelings concerning this newest SPLOST. 2012 is just a little over a year away. From all indications, our economy will not recover in that amount of time. We all need to continually inform our current and new officials of how we feel concerning this SPLOST over the next 16 months.

Please remember that Steve Brown documents all information before he passes along that iinformation. Please remember, it was Steve Brown who brought to light the fact that according to the ARC Transportation Plan, Mass Transit is in the Plan to crisscross Fayette County. Fayetteville and Peachtree City will be Transportation Hubs.

Please remember, it was Steve Brown who discovered that Jack Smith and Ken Steele had repeatedly voted in favor of the plan. Verify that by doing your own search.

Please remember, that no matter what name they give to the proposed ARC transportation system, MARTA is the only public transportation company in the area. MARTA has provided the buses, maintenance, etc. for any transportation system that has existed in the Atlanta area.

Please remember, that it was the WFBC members who pointed out the fact that the WFB leads to Westbridge Road. Westbridge Rd. will be an extension of the WFB which will stop at Hwy. 138 and MARTA.

Do we really want to further compromise our already endangered air quality with buses that belch out cancer causing diesel fumes.

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