Campaign for Atlanta Transportation Referendum Kicks Off

Atlanta area business and civic groups are starting an advertising campaign this week to build support for a historical referendum to fund transportation projects for the region, reports Ariel Hart.
April 4, 2012, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Buoyed by better than expected fundraising, backers of a proposed 1 percent sales tax increase are kicking off four months of advertisements ahead of the July 31st referendum, with a series of ads highlighting the need to alleviate, and offer alternatives to, the chaos of Atlanta's traffic.

"In the referendum, for the first time in Atlanta's history, voters from across the region will vote together as one district. They will decide whether to approve a 1 percent sales tax across 10 counties, to fund a list of transportation projects in those counties. The regional list totals $6.14 billion. In addition, about $1 billion will be sent back to the counties and towns where it was raised, based on the amount of people and lane miles in each," writes Hart.

Opponents are already lining up to protest the mix of transportation projects to be funded by the tax increase, of which more than half is intended to fund mass transit. "I agree we've got a traffic problem," said [Bob] Ross, who, like many of the opponents, is a tea party member. "My concern is over half the money is coming from what's pitched as a solution, but has very little impact on road congestion."

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Published on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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