Atlanta’s small business owners know that, while this city is a great place to run a business, our traffic is a disaster.
There’s nothing worse than having chefs and customers arrive late to class, stressed to the max because they had to fight gridlock. Those moments of pure frustration spent waiting in bumper-to-bumper congestion are costly.
The price of our traffic mess for businesses comes in lost productivity, increased labor cost, missed or delayed meetings with clients and in hampered opportunities to develop new customer, as well as lost shopping frequency of existing customers.
Metro Atlanta citizens have a chance to change that on July 31 by voting YES on the Regional Transportation Referendum, or TSPLOST.
This one penny sales tax would result in an $8.5 billion investment into 157 projects that will directly impact traffic and transportation issues over a 10-county region.
But just as importantly, that $8.5 billion investment is expected to support 200,000 jobs and $19 billion in new income for the metro area—a very good return on our investment and the reason so many of Atlanta’s business leaders support the referendum.
Atlanta business owners are among the city’s greatest assets and, because of that, it is imperative that we, as a community and as leaders, do everything that we can to support them. That includes taking a lead on issues like transportation improvements.
A study by the Atlanta Regional Commission shows that traffic congestion costs the average metro Atlanta commuter $924 a year. The sales tax is estimated to cost commuters only about $112 a year, a bargain compared to their traffic congestion costs.
I’m no fan of taxes and this referendum may not be the perfect plan for everybody, but it is a chance to do something. In this case, don’t let perfection stand in the way of good enough, we have to start somewhere.