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Fayette Chamber on fence about regional sales tax vote

The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce has not taken a stance either for or against the proposed 1 percent regional transportation sales tax referendum, slated for July 2012.

The Chamber, however, is encouraging residents and local business owners to get up to speed on the projects, said Chamber President Virginia Gibbs.

“I think our thought is that it’s just really important for people to be informed and that’s what we’re doing to this point, trying to understand the projects and understand the process,” Gibbs said. “So we’re trying to encourage folks to be involved and be educated.”

Gibbs said the Chamber board and its government affairs committee have been working to get more facts on the projects up for funding by the sales tax, which will be in the hands of voters in the July 2012 primary election.

As of now, the Chamber has not developed a position either for or against the sales tax, Gibbs said.

If the tax is approved, Fayette County is projected to pay in $190 million toward the $6 billion-plus regionwide take on the 10-year tax. In return, the county will get some $186.8 million in direct returns: both from the projects slated to be built here and also from a $45 million chunk that will be spun off to the various local governments to use on any transportation project they wish.

Fayette commuters also will likely benefit from some other transportation projects outside the county, chiefly the reorganization of the often-clogged interchange of Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 74 North in Fairburn.

Some opponents have claimed the sales tax, if enacted, would result in the largest single tax increase in Georgia history. Opponents have also been critical that half of the region-wide proceeds will go towards mass transit bus and rail projects.

All of Fayette County’s projects are for road or cart path construction only, with no transit bus or rail projects proposed for Fayette.

The project list for the sales tax is expected to be adopted Oct. 13 at a meeting of the regional transportation roundtable, a 21-member consortium of elected officials from each of the 10 counties in metro Atlanta. Fayette’s representatives on the roundtable are Fayette County Commission Chairman Herb Frady and Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele.

It is possible that the sales tax could be voted down within Fayette County, but approved region-wide. If that occurs, the tax would still be assessed here in Fayette County for the full 10-year length of the proposal.



starting in Fulton, DeKalb and Atlanta. Read about the 50-50 split and how if you just don't like that state law, get someone to change the state law for you.

In this case, the people in these 3 areas will then have more than 50% of what they pay to this tax go to MARTA. Where will that leave any money for their so-called "project list"?

Also, MARTA will be 2 BILLION in debt??? Can anyone fathom that number??? How obscene is this?

At the public meeting last week in Fayetteville, it was admitted by ARC and GDOT that it is already known that this tax will fund less than TEN PERCENT of what needs to be done. So why bother? Vote NO, NO, NO next summer.

BHH's picture

disguised as road improvement funds.

The only road improvements that will be done are those that would be done regardless of this new tax.

Those things that don't get done will continue to be on the list for arguing to pass new taxes in the future.

The only things we can get are the nonessential sidewalks and crosswalk lights that the Federal government directly pays for.

It should be the other way around and the Feds should really be paying for essential and not the nonessential improvements.

Feds should stop sending us all this money that we have to blow on crap instead of use where it's needed.


NUK_1's picture

It has nothing to do with taking away anything else in road projects that Fulton/Dekalb are already paying. The MARTA 50/50 split is the one cent tax that has been collected from Day 1 of MARTA and has been restricted to 50% operating costs and 50% capital expenses. Ending the 50/50 split means that MARTA doesn't have to adhere to half the tax being used for one purpose and the other half for another...they have discretion on how to use the same existing tax money they've been getting instead of being forced to spend it 50/50, which was really stupid and should have been changed before now. It helps MARTA and the taxpayers and it's an idea that even has full support from MARTA advocates and those that are anti-MARTA, Repubs,Dems, etc. That shows how stupid the original funding formula was when nearly everyone across the board agrees on changing it.

MARTA being in debt 2billion is as easy to understand as the GA400 toll road being extended by our previous bozo Governor and the Tollway Authority despite all the promises and claims for years that this toll would end when the legislation expired. It's what happens when you have career politicians and bureaucrats that love to spend taxpayer money and have no relevant business experience in what they are mismanaging.

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