Sonny Perdue weighs in on transportation, would shift T-SPLOST vote to 2012

Gov. Sonny Perdue just lifted the lid off what will be his biggest foray of his administration into the transportation issue. Among highlights:

– $300 million in general obligation bonds in next year’s budget. The list of projects would be approved by the Legislature. Perdue said he hoped subsequent governors would recommend similar amounts for the next 10 years.

– A one-penny sales tax would be pushed to 2012, a presidential election year. The vote would be statewide, but voters would be divided into 12 regions. Regions that approve the vote would get the sales tax revenue generated in that district. Regions that don’t approve it won’t get anything.

– The 2012 vote would be approved this session by the Legislature, by majority vote of both chambers. We’re not exactly sure how this works, and look forward to getting more details.

The timing of the vote is significant. Perdue said that the delay would allow the economy to right itself first. Republican legislative leaders said this week they didn’t think a statewide referendum would pass anywhere in the state.

The irony is that Republican leaders in Georgia may be relying on a 2012 surge of general election voters – drawn by Barack Obama’s re-election bid – to finally put more money into transportation.

The timing may also be intended to defuse transportation as an issue in the 2010 race for governor.

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37 comments Add your comment


January 14th, 2010
2:49 pm

Actually, the delayed vote makes everyone a “do nothing” with regard to transportation. Don’t underestimate the backlash of repeated failed leadership on this issue.


January 14th, 2010
2:50 pm

Ah…using the economy as a convenient excuse to do nothing, again. Attaboy, Sonny.


January 14th, 2010
3:00 pm

Approved by the Legislature…translation, roads we do not need in the districts of those with power…Atlanta gets screwed again


January 14th, 2010
3:03 pm

I for one do not want anymore roads or rail. Maybe then some of these northern interlopers will move the heck out of my state and we can get back to being a nice gentile southern state.


January 14th, 2010
3:09 pm

The legislature needs to increase the gasoline tax now. That tax goes to road and transportation now, it makes a great deal of sense to tax the gasoline that powers the cars that use the roads.

And, the idea of an additional sales tax voted on by folks is good. But the “12 districts”. That will be a bunch of gerrymandering, wait and see. Oh, well. Our current political districts are gerrymandered like crazy and we still survive – it isn’t fair but it may get the job done.

Pickin' Daisies

January 14th, 2010
3:12 pm

What is the amount of general obligation bonds in each of the past 7 fisical years that were dedicated to transportation?


January 14th, 2010
3:14 pm

Thanks, Sonny, for giving the economy a chance to recover before allowing us to vote a tax on ourselves.

Once again, the party of personal responsibility wants to take away our ability to make a personal choice.

Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the legislature.


January 14th, 2010
3:19 pm

I don’t understand why they refuse to give the locals control. Why can’t just the counties that want the projects come together and agree to pay for them with a dedicated sales tax? In this “district” scenario I fully expect that counties like Cherokee or Forsyth might have “get out the vote” rallies to vote against the tax that ruin it for the rest of the metro.


January 14th, 2010
3:21 pm

Sonny has got to be the worst governor I’ve ever seen! Another stall tactic! The transportation issue was a hot button when he was elected in 2002. All he did was posture, stammer, stumble, and make excuses. Our transportation trouble is critical! It needs to be addressed NOW!!!

I can’t wait until Sonny goes back to neutering and spaying. He has done absolutely nothing for Metro Atlanta, and very little for the rest of the state. May a pit bull bite Sonny’s buttocks on the way out and not let go until he is at least 100 miles away from here!


January 14th, 2010
3:24 pm

So nothing will be done for transportation for two more year, MAYBE. This is just crazy. No thoughtful consideration of policy at all, just through everything at the wall and see what sticks.


January 14th, 2010
3:27 pm

Winkasdad…you don’t have to wait for the end of Sonny’s term for spaying and neutering, he’s been doing it to all Georgians for the last 7 years.

Henry Grady

January 14th, 2010
3:27 pm

Nice. Vote these jerks out. You can’t use the economy as an excuse when you have been sitting on your thumbs for 7 years…and I’ve got $100 that says Gwinnett and Cobb and Forsyth end up in a different district than DeKalb and Fulton so that they can continue to ‘opt out’ on helping to fund any sort of regional transportation system not b/c that is what’s best for the state, but b/c that is what’s best for these Senators to keep getting re-elected.

Once a Republican

January 14th, 2010
3:32 pm

Gena Evans for Palin’s VP running mate


January 14th, 2010
3:46 pm

GROAN! When with the voters of GA finally be fed up with these republican politicans? They lie, cheat, steal, and mislead everyone. Most democrats are at least up front and you know their position – whether you agree with it or not. These GA republicans talk all about conservatism and they continue to run the GA economy into the ground. GA is second in the nation only behind CA with poor budgets.

Sav Resident

January 14th, 2010
3:50 pm

We don’t need ANY more taxes. As it stands, Atlanta is receiving most of the transportation funds. In Chatham County, we’re paying 1c additional SPLOST for roads and we’re not seeing ANY progress. We need ALL new government in Sav and a new governor.
I’ll vote for someone else, how about Eric Johnson, we need new ideas.


January 14th, 2010
3:52 pm

It doesn’t matter what “plan” Sonny proposes. His real problem is his Lt. Govenor — Cagle – presiding over the Senate and determined they will pass nothing on his watch. He is a spineless flip/flopper only interested in staying in office. His pledge of no new tax will guarantee this idea goes down in flames. Then they’ll all tell the voters they are working on the problem a la a “study committee”.


January 14th, 2010
3:55 pm

“GA is second in the nation only behind CA with poor budgets.” This is total BS Reality and you know it. There are 4 interstates that run out of this state and no one is twisting your arm to stay.

Where's the rail?

January 14th, 2010
4:02 pm

This may shift the T-SLOST vote to 2012, but the real transportation funding vote is in 2010 when we vote the Republican leadership out of office for their inability to deal with transportation funding. Why don’t the politicians stop arguing about whether or not we will vote for the extra transportation tax and just LET US DECIDE when we vote. That’s the point of a referendum!


January 14th, 2010
4:16 pm

Abolish the gas tax! No transportation funding for anyone!!!

I’m only half kidding…. toll roads are the future anyway….

Rural folks should love that, since their roads will rot without more tax funding, since too few people use them and they cost too much.


January 14th, 2010
4:20 pm

How dumb are Republicans? The only real candidate with an “R” AND a college degree is Oxendine…. so sad….. and so dumb….

Vote Dubose Porter!


January 14th, 2010
4:22 pm

Good theory. Only problem – keep the politicians hands out of the “cookie jar” and taking the money for unrelated items.

[...] Perdue’s rationale for placing the regional funding proposal on the ballot in 2012 — rather than this November, as some lawmakers have proposed in the past — comes down to economics and planning. He says the extra years will allow more time for the economy to recover and transportation planning honchos to prepare a project list that will tell voters what to expect from the sales tax hike. (The AJC’s Jim Galloway says there might also be some politics involved as well.) [...]


January 14th, 2010
4:33 pm

Sav Resident they are doing work in Chatham….I’m designing some stuff there now.

Gena Evans………..yeah what a joke! We need to be sinking money into our transportation here. Did you know that Georgia is 49th on spending in the transportation area…behind Tenn.

Backwards State

January 14th, 2010
4:38 pm

We need mass transit!!!!We need mass transit!!!!We need mass transit!!!!We need mass transit!!!!We need mass transit!!!!We need mass transit!!!!We need mass transit!!!!We need mass transit!!!!

MARTA is dumb as well as our Gov.


January 14th, 2010
4:43 pm

Sonny has done nothing for eight years but pass the ball to the next guy.What a waste.The so called plan is a joke.

W Tecumseh Sherman

January 14th, 2010
4:45 pm

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle the legislature could vote to allow “regions” to go to the polls THIS year.

I say let us vote NOW. We need to control our own transportation $$$. Not the state which is looking out for the bozos in Chatham, Colquitt and Chattooga Counties.

Backwards State

January 14th, 2010
4:45 pm

We pay a lot of money just to drive in this state. We’re fined extremely high for minor traffic violations, but we have no other options for travel. While Purdue increased fines for speeding, he should be concerned helping people get to work and travel in a state the forces people to drive. There’s too many people driving and the mass transit is not convienent for travel in Atlanta. Could we please get a train along the highways and around I-285? This makes no sense you can’t take a train to Conyers, Douglassville, Gwinette, or Alpharretta without it taking 2-3hrs travel time.

Road Scholar

January 14th, 2010
5:14 pm

jm: You realize all lanes of all roads will eventually be tolled?

Some Perspective

January 14th, 2010
5:16 pm

I was born and raised in South Georgia. Having lived in Athens, Macon, Savannah and now Atlanta, I can see both sides to the Two Georgias debate. In Atlanta, many are transplants drawn here for the jobs and opportunity, who still sees the rest of the state as narrow-minded and backward; while the rest of the state sees Atlanta as wasteful, corrupt, and full of non-Southerners who do not value our cultural heritage. This mistrust continues to grow and flourish.

No where is this mistrust more evident than in the General Assembly. One fact remains clear: though many may not consider Atlanta the heart of Georgia, it is clearly the economic engine of our state that needs to be maintained. Its roads and infrastructure are the vital arteries and veins for commerce in our state, and our state has a terrible case of coronary artery disease. Our dirt roads should flow into our streets which meet our highways which should flow into our interstates which should flow seamlessly into a regional rail network that should connect to MARTA, the Beltline, the Peachtree Streetcar, etc. We have to maintain and improve our mobility in order to remain competitive.

Even within metro Atlanta, there is no one voice or vision. The Atlanta mayor at best represents 8-10% of the entire metro area population. Only Miami has a smaller city-limit to metro area ratio. So how can a metro area that cannot even get on the same page expect the rest of the state to rally behind metro Atlanta?

What a mess! We have got to get on the same page here! Atlanta has a new mayor. Georgia will soon have a new governor. A house divided cannot stand and inactivity is not the answer.

We need bold ideas and bold actions on a bipartisan level. If not, surely our state will simply wither and die. My fear is that there is some who may wish that . . .


January 14th, 2010
5:24 pm

Reality wrote, “GA is second in the nation only behind CA with poor budgets.”

That is a flat out lie. Georgia has, in fact, one of the BEST deficit situations in the entire country:

According to the, Georgia has the 2nd lowest debt in the nation:

And the 10th lowest deficit in the nation:

Do you people actually ever examine Georgia’s budgets and deficits compared to other states? It is pretty hard to argue with the FACTS. You bunch of idiots can say what you will, but the Republicans in Georgia have kept us on track and mostly in the black compared to virtually all other states in U.S. SONNY PERDUE is primarily responsible. Sure, he has bungled time and time again on things like the floods, the gas shortage, etc. But his decisions to pay for only what we can afford will make Georgia more competitive when this recession is over.

When we can afford transportation, we will. But raising taxes in the middle of the worst recession in 80 years at a time when Georgia’s unemployment is 10%+, when Georgia has had one of the highest bank failure rates in the nation would be fiscally irresponsible. If he can manage to get us through another year without going into the red… and to solve the water dispute before he leaves office… the Republicans will have hugely succeeded where virtually every other Democrat-controlled states have failed miserably.


January 14th, 2010
5:46 pm

Road Scholar – yes. That’s life I guess, if you don’t like gas taxes.

State Employee

January 14th, 2010
6:59 pm

OK, let me see if i understand this: Legislatures approve all projects? WOW, Sonny great idea, im sure none of them will approve projects that will improve their financial situation with their own private dealings, which include family and friends. I mean after all, didnt the GREAT SONNY cheat and lie to make some extra $$$$ ON SOME LAND DEAL….SONNY, YOU ARE A DAY LATE AND $ SHORT, BE HONORABLE AND STEP DOWN….ITS TIME TO CHANGE GA GOVERNMENT FOR GOOD….GO AND EAT A SNICKER AND ROCK IN YOUR CHAIR ON THE PORCH


January 14th, 2010
7:16 pm

Seriously, state employee, please quit your job so I wont have to think about my taxes paying your salary. There is not a chance in down under that you do anything more than pick your nose and scratch your rear for 8 hours a day collecting my money.

Georgia Republicans = Taliban

January 14th, 2010
8:01 pm

Georgia was much better under the leadership of savy Southern Conservative Democrats.
Governor Purdue, bless his heart, has done the best he could, owns land in Georgia, refinances loans than no other can, constructs fish ponds for the benefit of the Georgia Economy, and a transportation plan that speaks of more roads only this time with tolls. Roads=Gas=barrels of oil=Saudi Arabia=Taliban + Al Queada= each time you fill your car up= men and women of the US military fighting for our way of life while we support the enemy fighting them. Don’t we feel good?

professional skeptic

January 15th, 2010
4:36 am

How typical of Georgia Republicans! Borrow money we don’t have year after year to placate their roadbuilder overlords– but when it comes to transit, just kick the can down the hall to the next chump in office.

Sonny, just go home and Go Fish.

Road Scholar

January 15th, 2010
8:15 am

Sonny: Where do we get the money to pay back the bonds? Budget cuts are comming so where is the money?

Sav Resident: Not so. Have you ever heard of Congressional Balancing? The equal expenditure of Statewide gas tax dollars in each congressional district? Atlanta pays about 65% and gets back less than 50%.

Mitch, is that what you do on your job? Most of the workers at GDOT are dedicated to their jobs. How they have been represented in the press is, for the most part, wrong.

Donald Baxter

January 15th, 2010
5:50 pm

“Trying to cure traffic congestion with more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt” –Glen Hiemstra,