Atlanta Voters Reject 1-Percent Transportation Sales Tax
August 1, 2012
Voters across Georgia yesterday went to the polls to decide whether to adopt a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST). The state was divided into 12 multicounty regions, and voters defeated the tax in nine of them.
The most closely watched T-SPLOST was in Atlanta, where it would have imposed a 1 percent sales tax increase for ten years. The $6.1 billion it would raise would have funded 157 different transportation projects, ranging from new interstate highway construction, extending a line of the MARTA rapid transit system, and improving roads. The project list was about half roads, half transit. Only 37 percent voted in favor of the Atlanta T-SPLOST.
Voters seemed to balk at the long list of projects (one legislator derided much of it as pork that would have no impact on commutes) without a key attention-getting project, the vagueness of some of the items, and the sense that other areas would benefit more.