Archive for September, 2011

T-SPLOST limits tax options for far more than 10 years

In name, the proposed 1 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects would sunset within 10 years. In reality, the list of these projects for metro Atlanta makes one thing clear: This is no 10-year tax.

On the contrary, voters should consider it the beginning of an approach to infrastructure financing on which the sun never sets — one that is fraught with implications for our entire revenue structure.

The draft list of projects, due for final approval by 21 local officials next month, features several items that would receive less than state experts say they’ll cost. That includes four transit projects that come up a total of $900 million short:

  • A rail line from the Lindbergh MARTA station to Emory University, pegged at $1 billion for capital costs and about $27 million more for a decade of operating costs, was pledged $700 million.
  • A light rail line from the Arts Center MARTA station to the vicinity of Cumberland Mall would be allocated $856.5 million, even though …

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