2/28: DeKalb and sales tax referendum

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The DeKalb County NAACP has joined with some county commissioners in opposing the regional transportation sales tax referendum in July.

They are protesting the lack of an I-20 east rail line in the plans.

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis counters that the approved bus transit is a step in the right direction, and residents must pass the tax for there to be any hope of rail in the future.

What do you think?

21 comments Add your comment


February 28th, 2012
10:58 pm

It’s not ‘just a penny” as some cost are passed on in property taxes and utilties for cost not covered by DOT. You are looking at the minimum of 15% increase in your bills. Vote No.

You should get what you pay for

February 28th, 2012
1:24 pm

We can all ride the new trolleys. I am voting NO because I’m fed up with our greedy irresponsible corupt system. Tolls on 400 still being collected. Everything ends up over budget & waste. Yes, traffic stinks and some say we may be losing prominent corporate presence bc of traffic. Thing is, small businesses employ a heckuva lot more people. The tax breaks & incentives for them are non-existent.

I just don’t want NAACP to be deluded to think bc the measure is voted down, that it is synonomous with support for them.


February 28th, 2012
1:15 pm

I’m voting no because a bunch of the billions will be wasted on real estate speculation rather than things that actually move people. Evans is downright silly, but I’ll take his no vote. He complains that less than 12% of the project list is in South Dekalb which probably has less than 10% of the population, a much lower % of the jobs in the metro area and probably less than 5% of the sales tax $ (all of Dekalb will generate only $800 million per Ellis)

His attitude, unfortunately, pervades the people who selected this list. They want their own pet projects for their favored constituency, whether it be developers or a population group. They aren’t looking at a cohesive plan that makes sense.

Once Again

February 28th, 2012
12:24 pm

Regardless of where any of it goes, it is a bad idea. The government has already wasted far too much money on failed central planning. Central planning never works, and there is no better example of it than everything they have tried in Atlanta to date. The greatest transit project ever – the New York subway system – began as a fully privately funded venture that was only taken over by the government when all of the bugs had been worked out and they wanted to control people’s movements in the city. There is absolutely NO reason why govenrment must be involved in any of this kind of activity. They don’t have any money they don’t steal from us first, and if a private venture sells bonds and the people believe in the project or feel that it will make money, etc. they will support it. If not, too bad. What is the point of building trains nobody uses. Isn’t one massively unsustainable rail system in this city enough? Why make it worse with new additions?

Just vote NO. In this case the NAACP finally got a tax referendum stand correct (albeit for all the wrong reasons).


February 28th, 2012
10:38 am

No new roads; unless………………


February 28th, 2012
10:28 am

The 1% assessment in TIA initiative, as described for the ten metro counties and represented by the Atlanta Regional Rountable should be voted down and abandoned. Things as they are now are better than the collection of $6.14 billion dollars in new taxes only to have the same or more horrific transportation nightmares ten years from now.

This Initiative is another course called Corruption 101. Politicians, connected asphalt contractors, engineers, lawyers, study groups and retinues of due diligence drones are about to make another killing at poor people’s expense. It would be excusable if the metro gridlocks from hell would end, but they will not.

Fact is that we do NOT need any more roads; maybe some computers to synchronize traffic and some smart systems to predict traffic and manipulate lights and so on, but not another dime on asphalt. Road encourages cars. Cars encourages petroleum. Petroleum encourages pollution. Pollution encourages death. Now new Roads; unless we are street dogs for the car industries and those who profit from tickets, insurance, accidents, and all the other mayhem we get out of the little steel boxes on the rubber wheels.

What we do need is MARTA trains wrapping the the Outer Loop and spiraling away to Smyrna, Convers/Covington, Douglasville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Alpharetta, Jonesboro, and Austell. This is the only growth envelope left for this area. Everything else is a political stick up.


February 28th, 2012
10:01 am

Politics makes for some VERY strange bedfellows. Their are principled “NO” votes, and there are spoiled-child-didn’t-get-his/her-way “NO” votes. Oh well, good news is good news.


February 28th, 2012
9:26 am

Highways and byways will never solve the transportation problems here in Georgia. It has been that more and more interest has been place on “downtown” Atlanta where you have all of the major events – lack of parking and direct transportation to and from. How far and how wide should mass-transportation be intergrated and why not implement it as we say over the years that has mass transportation lost ground and who will benefit from it the most. County by county has lost in the efforts because more focus has been nothing but downtown Atlanta. HOT Lane is a flop and it is geared to make money from people when it should be free, toll roads and more hot lanes often don’t solve anything except for those leaving early getting to their jobs. In fact, there is a poor and unprofessional ways of making mass transportation fit the state of Georgia; forget talking about county to county or city to city. It has to be for the benefit of all and not focus on one particular area’s main city. With this economy, it won’t even matter; sad to say but we still trying to live in this “I got mine, we don’t want this over here, or keep them from coming here, or don’t make this or that for everyone.” So now we see how just how we really think about trying to solve transportation issues, its not benefiting anyone and yet, you want the citizens to pay more taxes and more for this and that. this world is big enough for people to live without being taxed so much for things that just don’t work. TSPLOST is a waste of time and tax payers money, stop bleeding us!

too little time

February 28th, 2012
9:09 am

The situation in Dekalb is a microcosm of the whole problem with the TSPLOST. Essentially, population centers will be funneling taxes from the outer less populated areas to the more populated areas. People who live in north Cherokee, for example, will be paying for transit and will NEVER use it… ever. People who live in north Lumpkin or White will be paying for roads in Gainesville and their own counties that they will never drive on, and will not have any road that they DO drive on paid for by this tax. This is a tax that will be imposed by urban areas on the outlying suburban and rural areas, with no hope of it EVER benefiting those outlying areas and (the way it is structured) not enough voting power to ever get rid of it.

John Evans is right, but he fails to see that if he gets what HE wants, it does to the other outlying areas what he claims is being done to South Dekalb.

The fact is, there are simply not enough dollars to go around. I would bet that every single citizen of Georgia has a transportation corridor that could use improvement in order to make their lives better. But the TSPLOST is going to (mostly) improve those corridors in more populated areas. Unless some bargain can be reached such that the major transportation corridors of suburban and rural Georgia have a shot at those dollars some day, there is no reason for them to vote for this tax.


February 28th, 2012
8:42 am

I live in north DeKalb and see no reason at all for the people in south DeKalb to vote in favor of TSPLOST. Why in the world would they want to vote yes for an additional sales tax? The I-20 line has been on the drawing board for years. The projects in DeKalb are all centered in a narrow western edge of the county that benefits Atlanta way more than it benefits DeKalb.

On the other hand if I lived in Atlanta I would be thrilled with the project list, Atlanta cleaned up. The Belt line funding was a great gift.

TSPLOST was probably going to need a strong majority yes vote in DeKalb to pass, no way that is going to happen. 2 cents makes no sense.

I will be joining my neighbors to the south, I’ll be voting NO.