Cagle: Ready to talk sales tax for transportation, without Gov. Sonny Perdue’s reorg plan

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle signaled this afternoon that he’s willing to start negotiations with the House over a sales tax for transportation — regardless of any action on Gov. Sonny Perdue’s plan to reorganize the state’s transportation agencies.

“We are trying to keep those two issues completely separate. The issue of governance is separate from the issue of funding. Totally separate,” the lieutenant governor said.

Cagle’s remarks came during a press conference with Senate leaders to celebrate passage of its sales-tax plan — for the second time.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle offers a hug to Mildred Slayton his personal assistant and scheduler, who is retiring. Photo credit: Kimberly Smith/ksmith@ajc.com

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle offers a hug to Mildred Slayton, his personal assistant and scheduler, who is retiring. Photo credit: Kimberly Smith/ksmith@ajc.com

The House and Senate began the session in January with two different approaches to increased funding for road-building and other methods of people-moving.

The Senate quickly approved the same regional approach that nearly passed the Legislature last year. The House backed away, and this year passed plans for a statewide sales tax — incorporating a long list of possible projects to obtain support from lawmakers.

But the governor complicated the issue, by demanding the Legislature first rewire of all the state’s many transportation agencies — reducing the influence of the state Department of Transportation in favor of a new State Transportation Authority.

In a public appearance with the governor, Cagle and House Speaker Glenn Richardson agreed.

The Senate quickly passed S.B. 200, but similar legislation in the House has stalled, and could be gutted as early as this afternoon.

That’s no skin off his nose, Cagle as much as said today. “The speaker made the commitment to the governor,” Cagle said. “That commitment was not necessarily with the lieutenant governor. It was made with the governor.”

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9 comments Add your comment

Bob

March 23rd, 2009
3:36 pm

Whoever associated the republican party with opposition to taxation and spending needs to take a look at the GA republicans. Our silly legislators are redefining the party.

If we need money in the DOT’s coffers why did they cut the gas tax?

Please use a consumptioned based gasoline tax to pay for roadway expansion plans. It charges anyone and every directly for their use of gasoline. It’s already built into every product we purchase, why use this silly indirect method.

Please avoid the use of toll lanes and close the booths on the one road in GA that’s already been paid for (400). Tolls are an annoyance and a chore.

Please redirect Marta spending to roadway spending. More dollars are spent on Marta and fewer people use it.

I grow tired of reading how the republicans are raising taxes, we need new leadership in GA.

GoOx

March 23rd, 2009
5:46 pm

Last year Cagle kills the regional transportation bill, this year he puts it back in. Cagle, the speaker, and Sonny all agree that reform is needed at DOT. Then he waffles on reforming DOT.

We need a leader who can make up his mind and stick with it. That man is my man Ox.

Moving Forward

March 23rd, 2009
8:01 pm

Did I overlook something or did Lil Casey actually make a public statement without using the words “moving forward” or “value”? Maybe he did get his G.E.D and isn’t just reading flash cards!

Shelton Hall

March 24th, 2009
9:32 am

Bob…educate yourself because Marta doesn’t take any State Tax money. Its only funded by sales taxes of Fulton and Dekalb. I do agree with some of your other thoughts though. Why can’t we figure this out? its not too complicated. I say get rid of all 3 if they can’t fix this mess in this session.

Bob

March 24th, 2009
12:42 pm

I’ve never once stated on any of these comment sections about Marta that they take State tax money. I’m not sure where all you people are getting this. I realize state lawmakers don’t fund Marta, but they do regulate it for some reason so they’ve got some control.

Honestly I want them to shut down Marta and end the 1% tax. I was merely making a point about Marta being a waste.

BPJ

March 24th, 2009
1:33 pm

Maybe we should “shut down MARTA” for a few days, just so people like Bob could find out how much worse traffic would be without it. MARTA takes roughly 200,000 cars off the road daily – and that’s with a drastically underbuilt system. Imagine what a real big-city rail system could do! (By the way, rail riders are over two-thirds “choice” riders, meaning that they have a car and are choosing transit anyway. Bus riders are about one-third choice riders.)

Road Scholar

March 25th, 2009
9:22 am

Shelton, you are half right. While limited state monies go to MARTA, Federal funds are used for new construction and some operations.

BPJ: Interesting concept- shut down MARTA for a day to see how bad traffic would be. Two problems though: 1. How will the people who rely on MARTA to get to their jobs get around?; 2. Take the ridership from areas (ARC has subareas called TAZ’s (transportation Activity zones), and convert the capacity/air quality model to those transit users being in cars. Run the model to see congestion levels. This is easier. It will not give a completely true indication of congestion, but it will show the difference in congestion(no transit would be worse, regardless).

I need to read the alledged new version of the Senate bill to see if they have segregated the governance issues from the funding issues. Would the sales tax only be on gas or everything. Now is the time to raise the gas tax if we expect to reduce consumption, while paying for additional transportation. I know this seems to undermine revenue growth, but it can reduce our dependancy while raising funds.

Daedalus

March 25th, 2009
10:23 am

Yo Bob — the State is already siphoning off tax dollars from Fulton and DeKalb County to fund road projects in hooterville — and now you want the state to take MARTA sales tax money to spend in rural Georgia?

What a great idea. Perhaps you missed it — but the people of Fulton and DeKalb Counties VOTED to fund MARTA with a sales tax. Maybe you don’t like that –but that’s how democracy works. And by the way, no transit system in the country turns a profit or is self-sustaining. You right-wingers reject transit because it does not pay for itself — well neither do roads, schools or many other public work projects.

At least the MARTA sales tax money is spent in Fulton and DeKalb counties — unlike the rest of our tax dollars where Fulton and DeKalb subsidize those 4 land roads to nowhere.

[...] week, at a press conference designed to show the enthusiasm of Casey Cagle and the state Senate for a measure that could lead to [...]