T-SPLOST foes want tax repealed and other transportation news nuggets

Plus, the aftershocks continue


Ah, so much post-T-SPLOST analysis to be done. We’ll have a big visionary piece in a few days for folks to chew on (yes, there is life after the regional transportation tax). But in the meantime, let’s see where we are.

  • The Transportation Leadership Coalition, one of the grassroots groups that called for voters to reject the measure, want state lawmakers to repeal the law which enabled the referendum. The legislation included a penalty clause for counties that rejected the T-SPLOST. In a press release:

The first penalty was threatened before the referendum was placed on the ballot. If local election officials did not place the referendum on the ballot, the community would suffer a 30 percent (30%) penalty in funding for local transportation projects. GDOT funding the county residents have already paid for in taxes.

Now that T-SPLOST is defeated, the second penalty kicks in. The law stipulates that if the referendum is voted it down, as it was in 9 of the 12 regions, those 9 regions now suffer a GDOT funding penalty. ...

“We need strong leadership under the Gold Dome with the fortitude to repeal this terrible law and replace it with a plan that uses common sense,” said Jack Staver, chairman, Transportation Leadership Coalition. “This is certainly not any democratic principle that I believe in. Voting your conscience should not come with any penalty.”

It’d be interesting to know how elected officials and voters in the three regions that passed the tax feel about that.

  • Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, who voted for the T-SPLOST before becoming one of its biggest opponent before his July 31 primary challenge, has hinted that he’s open to repealing the entire law. In addition, he’s willing to push for legislation that would allow counties to partner and pay for transportation projects. Consider it “T-SPLOST lite.” It’s been proposed in years past under the Gold Dome, but lost out to the “regional” proposal.

  • Downtown’s revitalization has likely been slowed by the tax measure’s failure, boosters say. Also, what’s next for the Metro Chamber of Commerce, which orchestrated the ultimately unsuccessful, multi-million dollar campaign behind the tax? Maria Saporta says the T-SPLOST defeat has caused some to question the chamber’s “ability to lead” in the region.

  • Also, funny how we haven’t heard much from former Gov. Sonny Perdue, who crafted the T-SPLOST — and just before leaving office, helped contribute to the measure’s failure by extending the tolls on Georgia Hwy. 400.