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Is The TSPLOST Ballot Preamble Biased?

The TSPLOST ballot preamble is being criticized for its possible bias. Recent survey shows support for tax is losing ground.


On July 31, , as well as the rest of the 10-county metro region, will cast their ballots on the Transportation Investment Act to decide whether to establish a one-cent special transportation sales tax on themselves to fund various transportation projects.

The phrasing of the ballot question's preamble has been criticized for being biased.

It reads: "Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight"

Attorney Pitts Carr told WSB-TV, "Create jobs? Stop congestion? Who wouldn't vote for that?"

The attorney has been hired by referendum opponents to find out how that language, which was OK’d by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, was approved for the ballot when it was not part of the original law.

What do you think? Is the TSPLOST ballot preamble biased? Tell us in the comments below.

It is now less than four weeks until metro Atlanta residents head to the polls to vote on a referendum that will fund more than $6 billion in transportation improvements through a regional sales tax.

Brookhaven and Chamblee voters have only that would be implented in their communities.

And by the results of a recent poll, the proposed tax is losing steam as the referendum voting date approaches. A poll by Rosetta Stone Communications for WSB-TV last week showed that only 38 percent of voters surveyed in the 10-county metro region are in favor of the sales tax.

That is down four percentage points from a late May polling. That month, 45 percent of those surveyed were opposed the new sales tax and last week’s numbers indicated that now 49 percent are against it.

The most recent survey showed that Fulton and DeKalb voters combine for 50 percent 'for' and 32 percent 'against' the tax. But the other eight counties - Cobb, Cherokee, Clayton, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale – are against it. 

How will you vote?

Eric H July 06, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I take MARTA to work daily. Once they took the carpets out of the train the smell problem was eliminated. Trains are full at rush hour. But as long as we have zoning codes that basically require free parking at job sites and funds roads with property taxes and now sales taxes its hard for transit to compete. With that said if you learn the train schedule for your local MARTA stop its a very time efficient mode of transportation.
Eric H July 06, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Well it is guaranteed to end after 10 years. The problem is we will be asked to vote for an new list of projects and since the TSPLOST will build more infrastructure that needs to be maintained we will be painted into a corner in terms of voting no since they money from it will be needed even more. If it passes now it passes forever. Just like the School Splost.
Bill Lowe July 07, 2012 at 02:23 AM
This transportation bill would be better suited to be a 3-4 cent per gallon/aviation fuel/jet fuel/gasoline/diesel tax rather than an across the board sales tax on items purchased. Car drivers may not notice the additional cost per gallon because it is already 3.00 a gallon. Using a transportation fuel tax would cover the entire state, broken down into zones or areas, and would be funded solely off of transportation related equipment that uses the roads and transportation infrastructure. Will it yield as much money as a 1 cent additional sales tax? I am not sure, but it would only tax those buying the fuel for the transporation devices that use the infrastructure. This will probably be defeated, and should be reintroduced as a fuel tax that may not require an additional public vote. Current fuel taxes can be found at the link below. Does anyone know what this tax money is used for currently? https://etax.dor.ga.gov/salestax/bulletins/Bulletin_-_Prepaid_State_Tax_-_Jan_2012.pdf
Thomas T Telford July 07, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Once they start to get your money they will keep getting your money. Ala 400.
Alex H July 17, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Georgia is already a donor state with regards to fuel taxes. And with congressional parity required at the state level, Metro Atlanta is a donor region. A regional sales tax is a better option to get money spent on the specific project list in Metro Atlanta.

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