While many are hanging the hope of prosperity on the July transportation sales tax vote, Ratajczak said he and other economists met Tuesday and decided to be very conservative in estimates about its economic effect.
It may not bring a million jobs or fix all of Atlanta’s woes, he said. But if voters reject the 10-year, 1-percent tax the region will have little to defend itself when other parts of the country try to draw business away from the area.
“If we don’t pass it, the signal is disastrous. It makes us very difficult to attract anybody,” he said, adding that while it is hard to put a number on the economic impact, the vote will gauge how serious people are about tackling the region’s No. 1 issue. “I’m not going to underestimate the importance of this vote.”