New traffic funding plan.

HB 434 has been introduced by Rep. Charles Martin and would allow counties to group together and fund transportation projects through referendum.

If I’m not mistaken, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce backs this plan.

Transportation projects require enormous sums of money, and as we’re all aware, there’s never enough money to do everything people want. By allowing counties to raise money and deal with issues of local concern you avoid the rural vs. metro Atlanta friction that often exists on such issues. Also, if people aren’t willing to pay for the project, they vote it down.

What about this? Is it a good idea?

6 comments

  1. No, it is a terrible idea. Rural areas get massively subsidized by my taxes and others from metro areas. Now they want me to keep subsidizing them through state taxes and then vote to increase my taxes locally for something the state should be paying for in the first place.

    No thanks. Shame on the Chamber for supporting a tax increase instead of the responsible lower tax alternative – needs based road funding from GDOT.

  2. Actually, Demon I didn’t get the pun until I re-read it. Now that I’ve seen the AJC story, it seems like this tax is more likely for the road builders and their cronies at DOT to — build a tunnel under Atlanta to extend GA 400???

    That doesn’t make any sense at all. Demon, next time you drive from Bainbridge to Columbus on a beautiful newly paved 4 lane highway and only pass 10 cars the whole way (as I’ve done before) and then you come to Atlanta (or Savannah, wahtever) and sit in traffic for an hour to go 10 miles, get back to me.

    I don’t think that only Atlanta should get money for roads…I think everyone should get what they actually need, or at least weigh it against one another. The smaller “big” cities like Savannah and Macon probably benefit from the current system, in Macon’s case the 8th CD gets as much money as the 5th, and where else but Macon are you going to spend all that cash?

  3. Demonbeck says:

    That’s just it, chris, Georgia needs to take a look at how it funds transportation.

    Georgia has 13 DOT districts and 4 (maybe 5) have absolutely nothing to do with Atlanta. After DOT takes out what it deems as “Projects of Statewide importance” the remainder is split up amongst the DOT Districts evenly – meaning Atlanta-based districts receive 61.5% of the remaining funding. A majority of the “Projects of Statewide Importance” are Atlanta-based projects – Malfunction Junction being one – already.

    What you are looking at is a problem where Atlanta has so much transportation funding that their local planners aren’t forced to find alternative ways to reduce traffic and the rest of the state is suffering as a result.

    Look at Macon – a major wreck on I-75 during rush hour shuts that town down completely.

    Look at Brunswick – if a hurricane hits the coast, the people of Brunswick have a choice of driving up or down the coast to Savannah or Jacksonville to move inland via Interstate or they can jump on a two lane road to Waycross.

    Savannah traffic is a quagmire. You cannot drive East-West in that city during rush hour in less than an hour. (Which may sound nice to you Atlantans, but consider that the population of the Savannah MSA is around 315,000 people – not the 5 million people in Atlanta MSA.)

    It would be foolish for anyone to say that Atlanta shouldn’t get a majority of the funding. They have the majority of the people. However, they are getting a higher percentage of the funding than they should be receiving to the detriment of the rest of the state.

    Atlanta’s transportation planners need to cut back on the prime rib a bit and let the rest of the state eat a little more. It will increase revenue and business and improve the economy of Atlanta more than you realize.

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