5/1: The 50-50 split

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

It’s a contentious point in the tug of war between MARTA and Georgia legislators: the state mandate that the transportation agency spend half of its revenue from taxes on maintenance and capital projects and half on operations.

Oversight through “the 50-50 split” is crucial, the state contends. MARTA says that it’s restrictive and hopes to see it go away. What do you think?

20 comments Add your comment

Bryan -- MARTA Supporter

May 5th, 2012
12:29 pm

Chip May 1st, 2012 9:02 am

Chip why are you even in this blog? You aren’t even in the metro area. You probably live in Morganton and work in Atlanta. Just like the rest of you backwards hillbillies you talk your smack about Atlanta but then are so glad when the tax dollars that ATL brings in come to your town. You don’t even ride MARTA but listen to everything untrue and go off that because your friends tell you it’s no good. STAY THE F**K OUT OF ATLANTA!!

@ Raspushia May 1st, 2012 1:24 pm

If those drivers work for that overtime then who should care how much they make. If you were at your job would you work over 40 hours for free? NO! You would want your overtime and probably try to get as much as possible because you know your check would be bigger. What a dumb a** comment!

Corey

May 1st, 2012
7:00 pm

Raspushia

May 1st, 2012
1:24 pm

Anyone remember how much overtime pay some of those drivers were making? Visit MARTA’s website and research the starting salary of a bus operator traversing the hood daily. Ask yourself could you live on $14.00/hr without one penney for hazardous duty pay.

Corey

May 1st, 2012
6:56 pm

Chip

May 1st, 2012
9:02 am

When has a penney of your precious tax dollars been used to bail out MARTA? The answer is never. Are you really that ignorant? Your comment reeks of bigotry. Dude, you watch entirely too much Action News.

Grasshopper

May 1st, 2012
4:05 pm

Chip has a serious inferiority complex! Too funny.

Halftrack

May 1st, 2012
2:30 pm

The rule was set up by parameters of that time. There should be some flexibility in the split. Sometimes maintenance cost could well cause an overrun. A flexibility in the formula should be recognized to accommodate realistic cost of materials, labor, etc. in maintenance vs. operations and vice / versa circumstances. If one needs to be increased the other should be decreased under adequate management and policy guidelines.

Dave

May 1st, 2012
2:02 pm

I don’t know whether the 50/50 rule should be done away with on a permanent basis; but, I do know that Rep. Jacobs’ opinion piece drips with animus towards MARTA and south Fulton and DeKalb counties. He argues that neither the county governments nor the City of Atlanta contribute to MARTA, just like the State doesn’t; but, he would continue State oversight and shift the balance on the MARTA Board to north Fulton Cities (HB 1052). Why is that? Those cities, like the counties and the seven southern cities don’t pay anything. MARTA does need oversight. The question is who should provide it, the distant and uncaring General Assembly or the local governments charged with providing services to their citizens that pay for them? Why load the board with north Fulton folks when the folks down in the south part of the county are “stakeholders” whose “partnership” he says he welcomes.

Raspushia

May 1st, 2012
1:24 pm

Anyone remember years ago when MARTA published its employees’ salaries in the newspaper? It usually created quite a stir when the public got to see that their bus driver earned more than their physician. The annual pay disclosure apparently became so embarrassing that MARTA found a way to discontinue it.

too little time

May 1st, 2012
1:21 pm

We all know, pretty clearly, that if the 50/50 rule were to be lifted, MARTA would be flat broke in 3 to 5 years and begging the state for money. At that point, they would be using the same argument as they are using for passage of the TSPLOST… “Atlanta is the economic engine of Georgia and the State of Georgia can’t afford to let MARTA go bankrupt” . We don’t have to listen to that nonsense now BECAUSE of the 50/50 rule.

Honestly, if we could see the future and that this would NOT happen, I’d be fine with letting them spend the money however they wished. The 50/50 funding is fatally flawed. In any mature system, there comes a point where 50% of revenues will only cover current maintenance, and will not cover the maintenance on future expansion. At that point, no expansion would be possible anyway.

Kevin

May 1st, 2012
11:58 am

Chip, as a resident of Atlanta I find your comments completely uninformed and offensive. Have you actually ever lived in Atlanta or ridden MARTA? We don’t all fit so nicely into your stereotypes. Some of us here are as hard working as you claim to be. Name calling is pretty third grade.

The fact is NO state money goes to MARTA right now. This is the ONLY public transit system which receives NO state funding. If they really want to be in the transit business, maybe they ought to pay up. Otherwise let MARTA take care of it’s own. It’s one thing to have oversight. It’s another to financially straight-jacket an agency after not giving them the resources they need to have to be successful.

Or maybe the state could tell Morganton and all the other GA cities how they have to spend their money. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Chip

May 1st, 2012
9:02 am

OK, so MARTA — like a gang of irresponsible teenagers — doesn’t want to be supervised?

OK, give them their freedom with one condition: when, not if, but WHEN, MARTA mis-manages itself into the dirt, not a penny of state tax money is used to bail it out.

It’s a simple brutal fact that the City of Atlanta and naything touching it cannot be properly managed. Atlanta is a silly, pretentious, and hopelessly corrupt Third World joke. I live 90 miles away in Morganton and I work hard for my living. Why should my money go into a fiscal bottomless pit of corruption and incompetence?

If the people of Atlanta, Fulton, and Dekalb want their MARTA, then let them pay every penny. If they had any intelligence and common sense they could and would elect leaders who would see to it that MARTA udergoes a management house-cleaning and put in capable people to make that urine-drenched boondoggle actually work.

But then again, we are talking about the people of Atlanta, Fulton, and Dekalb… a sad mix of the welfare crowd, flaky artists, and snot-nosed elitist liberal NYC-wannabes living in a delusional fantasy world… so they continue with the lunacy, pretending they are better than the rest of us, all the while screaming for more and more of our tax-payer dollars to bail them out of their own self-induced disasters.

Pathetic!