Will Metro Atlanta Republicans and Democrats Put Aside their Differences and Campaign Together for the New Sales Tax?

The Georgia Transportation Investment Act (TIA) was signed into law in June 2010. The TIA required elected officials in the state’s 12 regions to create a list of transportation projects to be funded by a 10-year, one percent sales tax in the 2012 primary elections. The metropolitan Atlanta region’s $6.14 billion project list has been widely debated and discussed.

Now at least 21 people in the metro Atlanta region are voting for the referendum as members of the Roundtable, which voted to adopt the project list a few days ago. IF they campaign for the referendum, which will raise the sales tax by one penny, AND they are joined by their colleagues on the Councils and Commissions in the region, the Governor and other popular elected officials like metro Atlanta Republican and Democratic members of Congress, then the referendum has a stronger chance to pass.

Since the state continues to lose jobs and it seems more people are unemployed no matter how hopeful we are about the economic recovery, this is one time all hands on deck are needed. While some electeds have been quoted as saying the project list and funding formula is better than nothing, others are clearly troubled by the prospect of asking voters to tax themselves during one of the worst economic recessions since the Depression. This just might be a time when ALL electeds- Republicans and Democrats- can support increasing taxes. Only time will tell who will stand up to be counted by campaigning for a new tax in the midst of the Great Recession.