GETTING GEORGIA GOING: An Analysis of the Referendum On Georgia’s Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

May 23rd, 2012 by Leave a Comment

On July 31, 2012, voters in 12 regions in Georgia, including a 10-county metro Atlanta region, will decide whether to enact a 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) for transportation.

The list of transportation projects for each region is unique and each region’s voters will need to acquaint themselves with the relevant details of their list. Along with the Coastal Georgia region, which involves the Savannah-area freight- and port-related projects, probably the most crucial region for the July 31 vote is the metro Atlanta region, which not only has the greatest congestion and mobility challenges but the greatest population concentration in the state. For this reason, this paper focuses on the metro Atlanta region.

With Georgia ranked 49th in transportation spending, the question should be not whether there is a need to increase investment in the state’s transportation network, but what is the best, most efficient and politically realistic way to do so. Given this framework, there are reasons for voting for and against the legislation.

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