On transportation funding

The AJC’s Jim Galloway brings word this morning that there won’t be a statewide referendum this fall on a penny sales tax to fund transportation. This isn’t all that surprising, considering no one whom I’ve met thought such a referendum would be successful.

Not dead, as Jim notes, is the possibility of such a sales tax on a regional basis, which ought to please metro Atlanta residents because the money raised here would stay here. I would also say, based on my conversations with some key lawmakers, that raising the motor-fuel tax isn’t out of the question.

All that to say, let’s stay tuned before deciding this move at the beginning of a new session means the state’s Republican leadership isn’t serious about the transportation issue. If nothing has been done by the end of the session — well, then that would be an indictment on Republicans in the Legislature.

Speaking of staying tuned, let’s see what Gov. Sonny Perdue has to say about this issue in his State of the State speech, starting right now…

16 comments Add your comment

Kyle Wingfield

January 13th, 2010
10:22 am

OK, so Perdue hasn’t actually started talking yet. Apparently it’ll be closer to 11 by the time the undercard is finished.

Ron Mexico

January 13th, 2010
10:41 am

My prediction for 2010: Transportation funding will fail on the last day…again.

Chris Broe

January 13th, 2010
11:00 am

“All that to say, let’s stay tuned before deciding this move at the beginning of a new session means the state’s Republican leadership isn’t serious about the transportation issue”

That’s easy 4 U 2 say, Kyle. Don’t you love the “Lets wait and see what happens” editorial?

Okay, Kyle, lets wait to see. Glad I read your blog today because I was, like, SO in the present, but now, thanx 2U, I’m still clueless about what is going to be said. now I could speculate, but that would make me a moron, wouldn’t it? Better to wait and see what happens. Waiting here. Still waiting. I’m good. No, it’s okay, I’m fine. Hello, I’m waiting to see what happens. here. waiting.

I’m kinda excited about the future now. U C, that’s why journalism is so important to the legislative process.



January 13th, 2010
11:09 am

geeze chris, take it easy on kyle.

Greg Norton

January 13th, 2010
11:09 am

Four-laning U.S. Highway 411 from I-75 in Bartow County to the Tennessee line makes so much sense, it’s not funny. Matches up to Tennessee’s improvement of that road to Knoxville.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 13th, 2010
11:12 am

Dear Chris @ 11:00, your years of stand-up show. Funniest rant I have read in a while, my sincere compliments.

Road Scholar

January 13th, 2010
11:59 am

You are right. The statewide sales tax was dead. But it was proposed by rural legislators who were worried that Atlanta would get a leg up on them. The present legal feeling is that the present Local Option Tax legislation already approved is not written broad enough to allow for Counties to band together. A statewide vote would be neccessary. Would rural voters get paranoid again thinking that Atlanta is up to something the rurals can’t benefit from? And thus vote against it?

This proposal allowing counties to band together would be benefitial to Savannah and Augusta, and even Macon, Columbus, and Chattanooga also(Chattanooga MPO includes NW counties in Georgia! The MPO’s in Columbus and Augusta also include out of state counties!)These cities within a county have metro areas beyond the City’s county, much like Atlanta’s 20 county area.

What has Uncle Sonny said concerning how he would address this?

Road Scholar

January 13th, 2010
12:01 pm

Oh yeah, The draft GDOT report to the legislature stated that the other metropolitan areas in the state have acceptiple operations/congestion levels.


January 13th, 2010
12:26 pm

Increasing the motor fuels tax in an election year? Won’t be holding my breath on that one.


January 13th, 2010
12:40 pm

Yes, Republicans getting behind taxation and central planning. Par for the course. The free market was abandoned long ago along with any investigation into how regulations, zoning, taxation, employment law, and the like by government itself have made the transportation issue in this state and every other such a mess.


January 13th, 2010
12:55 pm

After watching the GOP pay lip service to water and transportation infrastructure issues for the last eight years and accomplishing NADA, the best advice is to:

(1) Lower your expectations to zero, you won’t be disappointed; and
(2) Enjoy your car, because congestion relief is NOT on the way.

But I think we have lots of nifty new boat ramps for the bassboats.

Who says Perdue doesn’t have a legacy?

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 13th, 2010
1:06 pm

If the residents of the Metro area want to vote themselves a sales tax increase to pay for their roads, it’s okay with me.


January 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

Sonny wasted eight years and when you include Barnes, it is twelve years of playing politics with transportation at the taxpayers expense.Throw all the do-nothings out.


January 13th, 2010
4:04 pm

Well Kyle — Sonny gave his speech. You can find the text on Galloway’s site and, surprise, Sonny mentioned neither water or transportation. Can’t blame him, he’s ignored infrastructure for seven years so why mar his otherwise perfect record.

Still got those boat ramps though.

Enjoy your car.

96 SC

January 14th, 2010
8:21 am

Employees be assigned to a 1100 to 2000 Sundays thru Thursdays work week while the remaining 50% of the Government Employees be assigned a 1100 to 2000 Tuesdays thru Saturdays work week.

The labor costs would remain constant and fixed overhead (utilities, building maintenance, etc) would be increased minimally. This would free up traffic congestion while allowing WE THE TAXPAYING PEOPLE access to our So Called PUBLIC SERRVANTS. This proposal would maximize the effective use of all Government Facilities and Public Infrastructures without Capital Outlay that is required for additional Roads or Mass Transit Systems.

Maybe Sen. Saxby Shameless could promote this plan with Fedral Offices in the metro.


January 18th, 2010
9:59 pm

The time is now for a 1% or 1/2% statewide sales’ tax for fund rail improvement in infrastructure only. See the complete plan at:


2012 or any date after 2010 is TOO LATE!!!!!! The surrounding Georgia states are cleaning Ga’s clock when it comes to improvements in their passenger rail transportation systems.

Georgis legislators make us proud – give GA transportation options. Keep GA growing on the “right” track!