The Atlanta City Council has called two referendums for May 2022 – one to raise up to $350 million with a sales tax to fund transportation improvements, and a $406 million bond package for broad improvements to be financed by property taxes.
Cobb County’s potential sales tax referendum for transit, possibly on the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot, is just part of the discussions CobbLinc and MARTA are conducting of the future of transit in four core counties of metro Atlanta.
With the Oct. 4 deadline looming to register to vote, MARTA on Tuesday is helping to register voters for local elections that include $4.1 billion in proposed sales taxes to improve school facilities and mobility.
They were heard. Gwinnett County voters who said they didn’t want a heavy rail transit line helped defeat the transit referendum on the Nov. 3 ballot.
By Guest Columnist AISHA YAQOOB MAHMOOD, director of the Asian American Advocacy Fund
Growing up in Gwinnett County, some of my fondest memories include weekend trips to Jimmy Carter Boulevard to get our ethnic groceries, stock up on some great Indian food, and hang out with our friends at Global Mall. Businesses along the Jimmy Carter corridor have helped bring pieces of home for many Asian communities for over 25 years. To this day, my friends and family from neighboring counties plan trips to Gwinnett, as it is revered a nexus for so many immigrant communities.
MARTA’s planned service expansion in Downtown Atlanta and, possibly, into Gwinnett County comes as MARTA’s finances have received positive credit reviews and a budget that could afford to stretch federal pandemic-related funds into future years.
A “yes” vote in Gwinnett would make it one of the metro’s big transit spenders.
DeKalb County transit advocates face a possible campaign in 2020 that could go beyond simply seeking voter approval of a 30-year sales tax. Advocates may have to overcome public trust wavering after setbacks in two nearby tax-funded programs – for DeKalb schools, and Atlanta’s roads-and-sidewalks-and transit programs.
The Fulton County Commission and mayors within the county are considering asking voters for a .2 percent sales tax for transit projects either this November or in 2020.
The 0.2 percent sales tax is expected to generate about $1.2 billion over 30 years.
At the foot of your midterm ballot, there are going to be some referendum questions. Here’s what they mean.
Every year, the partisans of countless causes push for state funding; some win and some lose. A question on Georgia ballots would put land conservation and stewardship a step above that fight, by setting aside part of an existing tax to pay for it.
By any measure, Charlotte Nash is a poster child of Gwinnett County.
She has lived her entire 65 years in Gwinnett, one of the few among the county’s 920,260 residents as of a year ago. When she was born, Gwinnett had fewer than 40,000 residents.
Nash now serves as board chair of the Gwinnett County Commission. Over the years, she has had a front-row seat to view changes in the county, one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation over the last 30 years.
“Success lives here,” goes the official saying about Gwinnett. “But it commutes to Atlanta,” goes an unofficial rejoinder. Well, Gwinnett has taken the first step in setting up more transit, scheduling a public vote on whether to set up a new sales tax to pay to join MARTA.