Trust and the transportation sales tax

If the referendum for a transportation sales tax in metro Atlanta fails this month, the cause is likely to be a lack of trust.

The most obvious trust gap is the one that separates most tea partyists from government spending. No surprise there. But the trust deficit that matters most in the July 31 vote, and the one that runs the deepest, separates white and black in metro Atlanta.

Or, if you prefer to keep things on a more civilized plane, it creates a divide between Democrats in Fulton and DeKalb counties on one hand, and Republicans in the other eight counties on the other.

All along, the strategy for passage of the transportation sales tax has been based on keeping the vote close in GOP strongholds such as Cobb and Gwinnett counties, then running up the score with strong African-American support in Atlanta and areas south of I-20.

This week, Channel 2 Action News released a poll, conducted by Rosetta Stone Communications, which showed only 38 percent of voters in the 10-county region in support of more spending to get metro Atlanta moving. In Fulton and DeKalb counties alone, support was measured at 49.6 percent – well short of what’s needed to make the formula work.

One reason for any lack of enthusiasm is the penny sales tax that Fulton and DeKalb residents already pay to fund MARTA. Passage would apply the transportation sales tax to all counties. The penny gap would remain.

But there is a larger unease growing, at least within the DeKalb and Fulton county political communities. As Republicans finally turn their heads toward the need for a regional transportation solution, some African-American lawmakers and other elected officials worry that their role in a transit system that they have managed for better than three decades is about to be lessened – or largely subverted.

As the Legislature shut down this spring, one bill lost to the clock would have transferred the power to appoint two members of the MARTA board from the Fulton County Commission to a council of six north Fulton mayors. In exchange, MARTA would have been allowed – for three years – to spend its sales tax revenue as it liked.

Longstanding state law prevents the transit system from spending more than 50 percent of sales tax revenue on operations – things such as salaries and electric bills. With sales tax revenue down because of the recession, the restriction is on hold until next year. But a financially pinched MARTA wants a extension and had reluctantly acquiesced, we’re told, to a deal brokered by House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta.

Lindsey said his bill is certain to return in January for quick passage.

Not long after the MARTA bill suffered this temporary setback, House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, held a session with north Fulton constituents eager to create a new Milton County. The process would begin in January, the lawmaker told them. “My goal is to end Fulton County and bring government closer to the people,” Jones said.

Taken together, Jones’ comments and the MARTA bill sent a shiver down the spines of many black leaders in Fulton and DeKalb who are now being asked to turn out voters in July. “It’s definitely a concern,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May, who opposes the referendum.

He understands the consequences. “DeKalb County residents are the type of voter that this initiative needs to win. We understand that in order to realize a benefit, you have to pay for it. Others in the region have shown a tendency to not want to pay for things,” May said.

The removal of Fulton County’s authority to appoint members of the MARTA board is only a precursor of things to come, May said. “It’s a slippery slope. You can see we’re clearly headed in the same direction as Fulton County with the cityhood movement. They’ll be coming for DeKalb soon.”

But Republicans say trust is a two-way street. Jones, the No. 2 leader in the House, doesn’t deny the remarks she made last month, but says they weren’t reported in full. “We’re looking at Fulton County as a model that is no longer relevant. It’s not that it’s good or bad. It’s just not relevant,” Jones said.

The House leader said she is willing to move slowly, and that the future of Fulton County shouldn’t become part of the transportation debate. “I’m a patient person,” she said. As for the measure to give north Fulton mayors the power to appoint members of the MARTA board, Jones said her voters need to have a more direct stake in transportation decisions.

“If they felt that they had a seat at the table, they would certainly be more likely to trust it and be interested in it,” Jones said.

Lindsey, author of the MARTA compromise, said much the same thing. “The fact of the matter is, Fulton County looks very different than what it did in the 1970s when we set up who all got to appoint whom. We now have all these cities up in north Fulton,” Lindsey said. And their residents pay a penny for MARTA, too.

Lindsey characterized the MARTA bill that will return next year as a piece of hard bargaining on both sides that would make Mick Jagger proud. “Everybody doesn’t get what they want, but they get what they need,” he said.

In exchange for increased north Fulton authority over MARTA, the transit agency gets more control over its own cash flow for three years. And that should be just enough time for state to establish a bona fide, regional transit system, Lindsey said.

Who controls it, and who pays for it, remain open questions.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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155 comments Add your comment

RAMZAD

June 30th, 2012
9:43 am

The Transportation Initiative as it is loaded up with projects now should be eminently destroyed. This Initiative is all about asphalt gravy for well connected asphalt and heavy equipment contractors. Any imbecile can see that the ten county metro does not need any new roads. We build more and bigger roads we get more and bigger gridlocks. We need MARTA slicing up the metro area like railroad engineers working with Ginsu knives- Not a foot more asphalt.

atlmom

June 30th, 2012
9:49 am

blahblahblah. If the legislature thinks this is the best plan ever, then pass it and raise taxes for it. don’t put it on the people – it is a HORRIBLE plan for anyone who wants *real* transportation. But that is irrelevant. We send people to atlanta to do a job, not push it back to the voters. DO YOUR JOB. And *that* is the main reason I’m voting against it.

That and – HELLO – how much does the GDOT spend every year? Again, if this is so great, then allocate more money to them, and deal with actually doing your job. If you think it’s the right thing to do, then vote for it as a LEGISLATOR.

Roy Jones

June 30th, 2012
9:49 am

Oh well… There goes the transit system I was hoping that the backwards northern counties would finally vote for but then again I don’t expect reason from most of those people. They love sitting in their cars for hours a day on 400. I live north of the perimeter and I chose to live in Atlanta but I am amazed how many people here don’t get the ideal of mass transit here. In any other metro area this would have been done already. Here the whole deal rides on the vestiges of racism and economic warfare. Truly a sad day for all of the metro Atlanta area.

atlmom

June 30th, 2012
9:50 am

correct – no new roads needed, ramzad. they only create more traffic.

In any event, when this fails, the legislators will take it as some sort of sign that people don’t want a transportation plan. not as a sign that they aren’t doing their jobs. *sigh*.

Such a shame I’m leaving Georgia.

atlmom

June 30th, 2012
9:51 am

Roy: but this plan doesn’t *just* contain stuff about mass transit – which A LOT of people in the city at least, support. It contains billions for roads. which are so not needed. what atlanta needs is a way to get around – without a car.

Just Nasty & Mean

June 30th, 2012
9:53 am

Good grief, JIm! Does EVERYTHING in Atlanta have to boil down to race. I am SICK of it!

The bottom line is: N. Fulton taxpayers have been screwed as the golden goose for–literally–decades. The current configuration of the County Commissioners gives N. Fulton a disproportionally smaller voice in government affairs, including the TIA/TSPLOST abomination. Just look at it–Why does the city of Atlanta have a disproportionate say in the projects list than the same taxpayers in N. Fulton? Somebody–with logic and reason—please explain that.

N. Fulton Taxpayers have sent hundred$ of MILLION$ to the capital over the last decades–and have pathetic 3rd world roads to show for it. We have paid for MARTA since the 70s–literally BILLION$ transferred to an entity that provides us little to no service. THEN, add in the Ga400 Toll Road–disproportionally paid for by N. Fulton– we were lied to AGAIN!!

Fool me once, Twice, Three TIMES, and now you want me to trust you on TSPLOST?

We’ve been foolish, but we’re not stupid!

Todd

June 30th, 2012
9:58 am

Jim always seems to make it about race or wealth. This is about the health of the region. Go North Jim.

Roy Jones

June 30th, 2012
9:58 am

altmon: Would not say roads are not needed. I understand the need to fix that too. There are some far flung areas of the area that just need a road. My thoughts are that we can get a mix of it all. Don’t throw the whole thing away just because of that. Buses, trains and cars: let’s put it all on the table.

Roy Jones

June 30th, 2012
10:00 am

Todd: LOL! Of course it is. It always is. That stuff never goes away. It is just below the surface. This is America for pete’s sake. History book would do you good.

Roy Jones

June 30th, 2012
10:08 am

Just Nasty & Mean: AMERICA has always had issues with race and economic inequality. No company moves here for North Fulton. They move here because if the infrastructure of the Atlanta area. If Atlanta falls then all of Georgia fails. Companies move away and house values plummet. The last think anyone wants is a southern version of Detroit. 400 serves the northern part of the county so they should they should pay for that. This is about extending the transportation resources to the long overlooked areas of North Fulton that did not exist in their current form in the 70s. I would not look at this as an “US against THEM” argument. If that is the case, then we all lose.

Just Nasty & Mean

June 30th, 2012
10:17 am

Roy Jones—You’ve only missed one point. We’ve been screwed too many times to trust ANYBODY!

Vote NO! to the TSPLOST that doesn’t end congestion, and NO! to the developers wet dream it represents.

johnny boy

June 30th, 2012
10:18 am

It’s not a penny sales tax, it,s a one persent sales tax. Big difference.

Centrist

June 30th, 2012
10:25 am

Galloway editorialized the following: “support of more spending to get metro Atlanta moving”. The AJC itself has admitted that little congestion relief is in this plan – it is mostly expansion of development for longer commutes instead of encouraging or having the market place move jobs located closer to the suburban resident workforce. The net effect on traffic congestion is nil.

This blog does (finally) point out that Atlanta leaders fear losing control of their MARTA piggy bank.

Mr. KnowitAll

June 30th, 2012
10:28 am

So, Todd….Is it “healthy” for the region to take $8B out of the local economy and pee it away on development projects (Beltline) that doesn’t help congestion one iota?

If we’re going to do this, let’s do it RIGHT and make it about relieving traffic–not about some political agenda (project list) by some government hack.

Birds of a Feather

June 30th, 2012
10:34 am

Anyone who has faith in a transportation plan designed by politicians in either party eeds to take a trip to the funny farm! Politicians design things to help their campaign contributors and then try to sucker the voters into supporting their boondoggle with all kinds of lavish promises. Vote No!

RAMZAD

June 30th, 2012
10:42 am

Anyone who eliminates race from the junction we have arrived in regional transportation is drinking from the voodoo public policy Kool-Aid puddle.

We know that MARTA was, up to two years ago, was never in Cobb or Gwinnett, because white suburban people believed that MARTA was going to be a pipeline for black criminals to come out of Atlanta into their communities. That is not conjecture. It is fact.

Of course, that theory did not make sense then and it does not now. I have never seen anyone getting on MARTA with a flat screen TV mounted to his chest, but white people believed that the absence of MARTA was an asphalt moat around their communities. Now, the moat has become their worst transportation nightmare. Don’t flip the script like this area is not a place where black people and white people at one time killed each other on sight. It is not an accident that Martin Luther King, Jr. had to come out of Atlanta.

H

June 30th, 2012
10:48 am

When is Atlanta going to realize that adding more lanes and more asphalt doesn’t solve anything…ask LA. They learned the hard way and have been expanding their rail network since 1990. Having 10 lanes go east and west doesn’t solve a thing. Look at NY, Chicago, Boston, DC, etc….do you think they have roads with 10 lanes??? No. They expand their rail lines. If you don’t like it, get on the train. Its faster, cheaper, saves gas and you can actually get work done without getting into an accident. Until Atlanta builds a real rail network, it will always be classified as a second tier town.

And for all you people that complain about crime, get on the train in NYC or DC or Boston…millions take those trains every single day and they are very safe. Fact is, people want to live near the train stations because its convenient. Major business centers and residential centers have grown up around train stations in NY, DC, etc.. Security cameras, police, etc are all over the place…very rarely does anything bad happen compared to the volume of people using the trains.

Centrist

June 30th, 2012
10:48 am

It is not just the Tea party members who do not trust this added tax. Politicians have put the transportation priority too low on our current taxpaying list in favor of their pet projects. The added TSPLOST plan came first, and many lists were massaged only to curry favor to special interest political friends and contributors. Lots of non-Tea party supporters have seen through the veil of deception, and oppose this added tax which is non-productive.

Only the most liberal voters who have never seen a tax they won’t approve, and special interests (hence politicians) who will benefit greatly via taxpayers are fighting for this boondoggle.

common sense

June 30th, 2012
10:48 am

If North Fulton would have just remained apart of Atlanta this wouldn’t have ever been a problem. They formed these other cities without purposely to sepparate them from other parts of the area (and yes race and income played a factor in this). Marta needs to be expanded and there should not be any arguments at all. As for road construction…no one seems to have any problems when GA 400 is widened. What the focus should be is why we have to vote on this anyway, when gas tax, portions of sales tax, GA Lottery all are suppose to fund transportation projects throughout the State. We should be blaming those idiots running our state, like our last governor, current governor and all of republicans. I wanna know where the hell is all that money going?????

Not buying it

June 30th, 2012
10:52 am

I’ll be voting no on TSPLOST.

A) I do not believe this tax will ever sunset. It’s a lie politician will tell to get what they want, then soon forget ala Ga 400.
B) Until the state legislatures get real about supporting a true regional transportation system without taking all the power from the 2 counties that have supported it for 40 years. Or just get out of the way and let us finish building it without unreal restrictions.

I’m sick of hearing about the need for local control as they are hell bent on wrestling said control from the locals. Also tired of hearing the state should not be subsidizing mass transit so they deny Marta yet find state money to subsidize bus service from their counties.

Mr. KnowitAll

June 30th, 2012
11:01 am

Metro Atlanta is a collection of suburbs. We are not a compacted metro area like NYC, Chicago, London, Paris or the other handful of successful transit systems. Even those require massive taxpayer financial support.

To make MARTA service the whole metro area, and make it a viable alternative to cars would cost $100 BILLION or more. MARTA was destined for failure the day it was born.

The answer is to embrace what metro Atlanta is–a collection of suburbias. It is the lifestyle we chose to live and why we stay here.

Why not make congestion solutions map up with what we have, who we are and what we want, instead of trying to social engineer solutions that do not, and will NEVER, solve congestion?

ryan

June 30th, 2012
11:03 am

Galloway is such a liberal clown. I live in Buckhead and receive no representation (thanks Ed Lindsey) after this weeks decision to add the biggest tax increase in American history (thanks John Roberts) there is no way I am ever voting for another. I am so sick of the class warfare and the games Democrats are playing.

I will as many other business owners be reducing future hiring to try and cope with Obamacare, with regards to transit there is no trust because the corruption in Metro politics is too widespread.

Congrats America on the 2008 election you now buried the country’s superpower status

yellowdog

June 30th, 2012
11:09 am

jim just didnt throw outa note about race; its simply the truth; they hate the president; they hate marta because it will bring african americans to cobb and cherokee county; this state has to join the 21st century; its backwards enuf without denying expanding and growing our transportation needs. the republicans only want to use our taxes to defeat roe against wade; continue unwanted wars; defeat gay marriage and further all their own social agendas. this is real life…..SPLOST was passed for just these kinds of things; i.e. capital improvements to improve quality of life for our citizens; you just dont get it; we are already decaying our infrastructure because we dont want to pay taxes to do it; get over it. once again they dont have a plan in place of splost…..or anything else. grow up; all of you above except for one or two prove the point that jim makes about black and white; this country could fall on that attitude……beginning with the tea party who would rather do nothing……..aargh

RAMZAD

June 30th, 2012
11:11 am

Ryan; I am delighted that you are so angry and uber frustrated. I hope more Right Wing zealots take the pills you are. You are a fool if you believe you can cut your way to prosperity. It seems to me that
the next 4-6 to six years will be very difficult for you. You earned it well with your bankrupt me me me thinking.

James

June 30th, 2012
11:13 am

We don’t have a transporation problem, we have a land use problem. There is no amount of money that will allow us to continue to buy houses in old cow pastures further and further away from jobs and activities. As long as the average resident of the metro continues to increase the length of their commutes and to make most of it primarily on old roads that were built for rural agriculture, we’ll have more tranportation projected needed than we can ever afford.

TSPLOST does absolutely nothing to address this. Zero. It’s a very expensive bandaid on a wide open axe wound. The underlying problem must be addressed but that would require courage and hard work from the legislature who is more interested in getting drunk every night and having sex with lobbyist than actually serving the people who elected them.

As for the individual, you can do your part by NOT LIVING AN HOUR or more away from your job and the activities you participate in. That my friends is the ultimate in personal responsibility. Too bad for most in this state, personal responsibilty is just a meaningless buzz word. Don’t want to pay for more roads and transit? Stop creating the demand for it! Otherwise you are just another welfare queen looking to the big government to take care of the problem you’ve personally created for yourself. Parasites!

Rich

June 30th, 2012
11:18 am

Trust – Go no farther that GA-400

DannyX

June 30th, 2012
11:20 am

To say that race is not a part of just about every single issue in Georgia is just plain crazy.

North Fulton Republicans blatantly flaunt it all the time. They are up in arms over MARTA management and lack of representation. They scream about the incompetence of the county government and complain that their tax dollars are being diverted away from them.

However, on the state level silence. The Georgia DOT is incompetent, they make MARTA seem like a well oiled machine. The folks in north Fulton never, ever bring up the fact that 35% of all gas tax revenue collected in metro-Atlanta is siphoned off to other parts of the state. They never mention the federal funds that also get siphoned off to other parts of Georgia.

Sorry north Fulton, MARTA is not the cause of your problems, stop the whining. Go after your Republican politicians that continue to allow rural Georgia to sponge off your tax dollars.

Wake up to the fact that while rural Georgia was getting fancy 4 lane highways where they weren’t needed local developers were developing every inch of land making new freeways that you love so much impossible.

everyone's mom

June 30th, 2012
11:25 am

It’s race-mongering journalism like this that stokes the fires of racism.

I am not thinking one bit about race in my decision not to support this new tax. I live in North Fulton and just want to be able to get back and forth to work or anywhere else I want to go without sacrificing undue hours in the car.

If we are going to talk about trust, we can’t do so without mentioning the lie that has been perpetuated on everyone who uses Georgia 400. After that massive deceit, how are we ever to believe anything that Big Brother promises us about a transportation tax or issue?

The only bone that we’ve been thrown at all on 400 is to utilize emergency lanes in the morning commute…lanes that have to be merged into and out of. As far as I can see, this is not doing much to improve the plight of the commuter…but endangers any metro Atlantan who might one day need the services of an emergency vehicle during those times. To put it succinctly, the shortsightedness of this practice will put lives at risk. It is only a matter of time.

Read my above comments carefully. They do not have a single thing to do with race. They have everything to do with trust, however.

PD

June 30th, 2012
11:30 am

Just fix MARTA! Extend lines North, NW, NE, W and E. These are all of the choke spots entering the city. They also should consider a commuter rail line from areas further out. (like the L.I.R.R in NY).

This is unfortunately a product white-flight in Georgia. Urban Sprawl is real people and Jim Galloway hit the nail on the head with the issues. Honestly, it is time for the solutions to come about without bickering because it is affecting everyone White and Black.

Proud Voter

June 30th, 2012
11:31 am

T-splost is a fair tax because it is a sales tax and anybody who spends money in the region will leave that sales tax in that region for roads and bridges. T-splost revenue never goes into the general fund. DOT has no jurisdiction over any of the t-splost money. Why would you not want to improve the area where you live? Good grief! Look at what t-splost really is, not what has been or should have been, but look at the t-splost revenue itself. The above arguements are moot points when you don’t use tunnel vision to view it.

Rich

June 30th, 2012
11:33 am

It is not about race, it is about years of mismanagement. Take Gwinnett, the county commissioner never saw a development that they did not like. Land zoned for 1 house per acre was rezoned for 4 (or more) houses per acre without concern about roads or schools. Would MARTA be useful in Gwinnett? Maybe? But where can I go on MARTA? Braves game? No (there is a bus, but they keep threating to stop it). Why was a MARTA stop not built at the staduim? City of Atlanta owned the parking lots. If the governmet can show that they can manage what they have, then we might give them more to manage. Until then, I must vote no. Not based on race.

MiltonMan

June 30th, 2012
11:40 am

North Fulton is screwed by the idiots running Fulton County. We pay the penny sales tax to MARTA for exactly what??? A couple of parking lots ran by MARTA.

Let’s not forget how the good ‘ole GOP screwed us even further by keeping the GA 400 toll.

I will be voting no for the piece of garbage.

MiltonMan

June 30th, 2012
11:46 am

“DOT has no jurisdiction over any of the t-splost money

That is a lie. The DOT is given the authority the divvy up the monies to the counties & cities.

PD

June 30th, 2012
11:47 am

400 will forever be a toll road because it is overused.

R.Lamar Smith

June 30th, 2012
11:50 am

We need to quit talking about traffic and talk about a 12.5% tax increase in the city of Atlanta which has a high sales tax already. It’s too late to pile on more sales tax since the schools etc have already been extended. In Manhattan the sales tax it 8.875% and with this increase we would be paying 9%. It’s just too much.

J

June 30th, 2012
11:53 am

@KnowItAll Chicago and London are spread out as much as Atlanta, and they have great public transit. Heck, you can travel to/from Chicago to Indiana, across state lines, with ease. You can catch a train between London and Paris, across countries, and arrive in 2:20. Other countries promote bike share programs and motorbike use. Here, you can’t even get around within a county on public transit, let alone from county to county.

To me, the problem always has been the low class stigma some people associate with mass transit and the poor regional planning the area has historically had. How can you have good public transport without a unified plan covering the whole metro area? The answer is not more roads, unless they lead to a transit station.

PD

June 30th, 2012
11:54 am

Crazy how the mistakes of the 1970’s are still hurting this amazing area of town. Now it is muddled up in nonsensical answers of HOV lanes with no HOV exits, mixed use communities, trolleys and emergency lane usage.

Corrupt taxing politician

June 30th, 2012
11:55 am

IF YOU TRUST POLITICIANS, THEN VOTE YES.

I DONT AND WILL VOTE NO.

HALF THE MONEY RAISED WILL NOT BE USED FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS.

PD

June 30th, 2012
11:56 am

Awesome cities with great transportation: London, D.C. New York, Chicago Paris, Hong Kong and Japan. We need to take some notes.

PD

June 30th, 2012
11:58 am

Everything is done through politics, through proper politics. If you demonize everything you will get nothing. So Atlantans stop being so damn negative!

Sourgrapes

June 30th, 2012
11:58 am

One major reason I’m voting against this one: They lied about GA-400 tolls. End of story.

Georgiavet

June 30th, 2012
12:00 pm

Jim, you should know it isn’t racial – it is purely a matter of Fulton and DeKalb not being willing to have capital improvements added to the rail line for us to try to support when it is already in trouble in spite of the sales tax we’re paying. Either put in a region-wide rail tax that includes MARTA or leave rail to continue deteriorating.

Bill from Atlanta

June 30th, 2012
12:01 pm

I’m voting no in July because I don’t trust the government. 400 toll funds misused by Barnes and promises broken by Perdue. I’m also going to do everything I can to see that Deal is not reelected. These administrators with the state government are irresponsible and two faced.

PD

June 30th, 2012
12:03 pm

Proud Voter

June 30th, 2012
12:20 pm

Miltonman: I don’t know where you got your information, but you need to get a reliable source. DOT DOES NOT have any jurisdiction over the t-splost money. What part of the fair tax stays in the region and is spent by a panel of members who LIVE IN the region do you not understand? This is a new fair concept for improving the roads and bridges in a certain region, financed by the fair sales tax collected in that region. Get your facts straight before you begin spouting misinformation. Please.

Going Right

June 30th, 2012
12:25 pm

As an admitted far-right conservative I nonetheless cannot accept Gullible’s reasons for a possible failure of the TSPLOST vote. My reasons are not only a distrust of governing bodies (and that includes REPUBLICAN-RUN CITIES/COUNTIES) it is that there will be too much emphasis placed on padding some developer, contractor, or paver’s pockets. As I stated in another blog, Why on God’s earth do we need a “Belt Line?” Why do we have budgeted $$ for the absolutely useless, $$-wasting Gwinnett Transit System?
I, personally – and I know many, many conservative non-”Tea Party” individuals that could give less of a rat’s a$$ about politics, race (gotta love how Gullible throws that in!), or the supposed fight between the ITP’s and the OTP’s. It’s the George Washington’s and Abe Lincoln’s I’m more concerned with.
Again, I aks> Just WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS MONSTROSITY?

Kim

June 30th, 2012
12:27 pm

Everytime this comes up, everyone starts screaming racism because we don;t want Marta in our neighborhood. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with crime. We “racists” sit on 400 every day becasue we want to be as far away as possible from the criminal element allowed to run rampant in this town. Most crimes in this city are committed by welfare rats. That’s not racism, it’s a FACT. I don’t hear about gangs of white people robbing people of their cell phones in the middle of the day. Right now, the Northside is relatively safe because of the lack of public transportation.

In addition, the 400 toll will be the death knell to this project. We were promised that the toll would end as soon as the road was paid for. Instead, we were forced, illegally, to pay for Atlantic Station. If we vote yes, we will get nothing, and all will be diverted, as usual, to the southside where most people do not work or pay taxes. We are sick and tired of being stolen from and lied to.

Keep calling us racists, we don’t care because right now you cannot get here without a car, and that’s the way we want to keep it.

Curzen

June 30th, 2012
12:27 pm

Marta is doing badly with a 1% tax. Dekalb just noticed they have a gaping hole in their school budget. I don’t think I trust them with handling the revenue another 1% tax responsibly at this point. VOTE NO.

hiram

June 30th, 2012
12:28 pm

PD
June 30th, 2012
11:56 am

“Awesome cities with great transportation: London, D.C. New York, Chicago Paris, Hong Kong and Japan. We need to take some notes.”

All three of the U.S. cities that your cited made the top 10 list of “Most Traffic-Jammed Cities in America” – Atlanta wasn’t on the list.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2012/05/25/the-most-traffic-jammed-cities-in-america/

Sally

June 30th, 2012
12:30 pm

How quickly can they come after Dekalb County? If I thought voting for ANYTHING would strip Dekalb County of ANY control over ANYTHING I’d be the first one in line to vote come voting day. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is. When you have a job and you don’t do it well you lose that job. Period.