Douglas County Sentinel Reports:
Tax vs. Transportation: Voters must decide if traffic fix worth penny tax
On Tuesday, July 31, local residents will vote with millions of others in metro Atlanta on an initiative known as the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST).
Put one way, the measure is an extra penny that will finally turn the corner on the region’s traffic congestion, give people precious extra hours in the day, provide Atlanta with a competitive edge on other cities and set the area up for success for generations to come.
Put another, voters are being asked to give another $7.2 billion of their own hard-earned money into government coffers, more funding to the people who let the region slide into a transportation hitch in the first place.
Though Douglas County has a fraction (about 3.2 percent) of the 10-county area’s population, it has three people sitting on the very front lines of the issue.
County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan and Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons each service on the 21-member Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Regional Roundtable. The group consists of the county commissioner and one mayor from each of the 10 counties, plus Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
In the other corner is James Bell. Bell, who runs the Georgia Taxpayer Alliance, has long been an advocate of lower taxes. The libertarian even played a role in the dissolution of Lithia Springs as a city a decade ago. He is busy leading efforts to get the “No” vote out.