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Transportation Leadership Coalition takes aim at funding penalty

T-SPLOST opponents take aim at funding penalty

By Dave Williams

Staff writer – Atlanta Business Chronicle

One of the groups that helped defeat this week’s regional transportation sales tax in Atlanta is calling for repeal of a state penalty aimed at regions that rejected the referendum.

Under legislation the General Assembly passed two years ago, regions that defeated the referendum would be required to provide a 30-percent local match for future maintenance projects funded by the state. Regions that passed the sales tax would only have to put up a 10-percent match.

Voters in nine of 12 regions across Georgia rejected the referendum on Tuesday, including the 10-county Atlanta region.

“Voting your conscience should not come with any penalty,” said Jack Staver, chairman of the Transportation Leadership Coalition, a grassroots group that campaigned against the tax in metro Atlanta. “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.”

The tax lost overwhelmingly in metro Atlanta, by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent.

The coalition is calling on Gov. Nathan Deal and the legislature to repeal not just the penalty provision but the entire 2010 transportation-funding bill, despite Tuesday’s passage of the referendum in regions across Georgia’s mid-section surrounding Augusta and Columbus, and in a rural region that includes Dublin, Vidalia and Jesup.

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