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What Do Last Week's Elections Mean for the Transportation Tax?

Join Patch users across Georgia in a discussion about next year’s TSPLOST vote.

"We may need more connector roads between interstates and other major arteries, or we may need something else. But that by its very nature will continue to require increased infusions of tax dollars to keep it running."—Tom Maloy, Powder Springs

"Nobody I know likes to pay taxes. However, for counties and municipalities."—Dan Matthews, Oconee County

Every day, people in 43 Georgia communities talk to one another through Patch, exploring local, state and national issues through the lens of their town, county or neighborhood.

But some issues—like the 2012 referendum on a penny sales tax to pay for transportation improvements in multicounty regions throughout the state—are big enough that we all can benefit from a broader discussion.

With Patch, we have the opportunity to share ideas from Athens to Acworth, from Midtown to Marietta. And maybe if people in these communities talk more often, we can understand the issues, and one another, better.

Many Patch users, bloggers and contributors have already weighed in on the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOST, most of them against it:

“The regional transportation group expects the taxpayers will willingly vote to raise their taxes another penny through a new TSPLOST—‘ they seem to be saying. From where I stand, the government has not shown itself worthy to ask for more money from our pockets.”—Ray Newman, Dacula

"They can all they want— for a bunch of projects that will not improve my Avondale-Buckhead commute."—KP, Decatur Patch

We learned from Tuesday’s elections that a majority of voters across northern Georgia are willing to pay an extra penny on every dollar they spend to fund local education projects: ESPLOST referendums passed by wide margins in Athens and Oconee, Barrow, Gwinnett, Walton, DeKalb, Fulton, Douglas and Cherokee counties. (Bartow, Forsyth and Walton counties also approved general-purpose SPLOST proposals.)

So, what does that mean for the TSPLOST in 2012? We want to know what people across our Patch communities think, and why.

What are the major transportation issues for Atlanta and surrounding regions?

Does this week's education sales tax success suggest similar success for the TSPLOST next year?

Will you vote for a transportation sales tax? If not, how should road and transit improvements be funded, if at all?

Join the discussion in the comments.

Michael Stone November 16, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Tea Party columnist Tom Maloy just added to the discussion by saying the TSPLOST isn't a true SPLOST. In his latest column (http://patch.com/A-nK7t), he writes: "You see, the so-called TSPLOST is not a SPLOST at all. Its real designation is the special district transportation sales and use tax. It’s the product of an entirely different piece of legislation, HB-277, that does not include the protections inherent in the SPLOST law. As a result, the project lists are much more fluid, and there is greater latitude regarding how the money is spent. There is nothing that guarantees that all the projects on the list will even be done. If the flip-flopping and money shifting that occurred in developing the Cobb County project list is any indication, we’re in for a bumpy ride over the next 10 years." Agree? Disagree?
No Name November 16, 2011 at 09:09 PM
That same inflation has hit people's pocketbooks too. We're all learning to live with less. Government needs to go on the same diet we've all had to go on, not come with their hands out asking for yet more. Let's not even talk about how government compensation has changed since 1980. TRIM THE FAT FIRST!
No Name November 16, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Who sponsored HB-277? And who voted for it?
No Name November 16, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Thanks for saving me the effort. What a guy!
No Name November 16, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Sponsored By (1) Shaw,Jason 176th (2) Maddox,Gene 172nd (3) Roberts,Jay 154th (4) Williams,Al 165th (5) Black,Ellis 174th (6) Lucas,David 139th Sponsored In Senate By Bulloch,John 11th

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