The Georgia House gave final approval Thursday to legislation allowing Clayton County residents to vote on paying an additional 1 percent sales tax to fund C-Tran, the county’s mass transit system. House Bill 1393 raises the cap on the sales tax counties can levy. It also extends the exemption from motor fuel taxes for public transit for another two years.
The measure sets up the possibility of an imminent sales tax vote in Clayton County. However, the transit measure would have to be green-lighted by the Clayton County commission, which voted 4-1 to cancel its bus service in the first place. The commission’s vice chairman, Wole Ralph, has said that he has concerns about such a referendum, and whether county tax money would be used to bail out cash-strapped MARTA.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam (D-Riverdale), said passage of the bill opens up a way to “a quality and affordable public transportation system for the people of Clayton County.”
The next step, she said, will be educating residents about having a referendum on the matter. The referendum would be held during the July primary election, she said.