On Transportation Funding, Governor Not Ready To Modify Regional Approach

February 6, 2014 16:34 pm

by Jon Richards · 10 comments

Governor Nathan Deal addressed the board of Atlanta’s Commerce Club on Thursday. In a Q&A session following his remarks, Deal was asked to comment on the possibility of fixing some of the transportation problems that remain in the metro Atlanta area following the region’s rejection of the TSPLOST in 2012.

While bills have been introduced in the legislature to allow for smaller regions and a fraction of a penny sales tax, the Governor does not appear to favor that approach. According to a story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Governor prefers a continuation of the regional approach that was used for the TSPLOST.

According to a couple of the board members in the room, the governor told them that some people would like to throw out the regional transportation sales tax approach. But he said he was not ready to do so.

There also is a new bill making its way through the legislature that would provide a fractional sales tax and permit two counties or two governments to pass a tax for particular projects rather that have a regional tax.

Deal told the Commerce Club board that he is not in favor of taking a fractionalized approach at this time.

House Bill 195, introduced by Rep. Ed Setzler of Acworth would allow two or more counties to join together and levy a sales tax for transportation projects. Two bills that would allow fractional sales taxes are being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

peachpundit (@peachpundit) February 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm

New post: On Transportation, Governor Not Ready To Modify Regional Approach http://t.co/gNNtXawVX7 #gapol

2g Strategies (@2gstrategies) February 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm

From @peachpundit On Transportation Funding, Governor Not Ready To Modify Regional Approach http://t.co/mkRjFVyT3R

Max Power February 6, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I know I’m going to be alone on this like so many other things but we need a constitution and abolish about 92 counties, and consolidate and connect the municipalities in close in metro Atlanta into a super city.

Harry February 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm

It’s not just the Georgia constitution. Don’t forget the federal DOJ.

Dave Bearse February 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Combine contiguous No.159 Taliaferro, No.155 Glascock, No.151 Warren and No.134 Hancock counties and the population of the county would still be less than 20,000.

Will Durant February 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm

You will never get Gwinnett voters to tax themselves for a what was purported to be a 70% ROI to the county●

South Fulton Guy February 6, 2014 at 8:59 pm

The key is not to emphasize what you will not support, but bring your solution to the table. The GOP cannot continue to bring nothing to the table during the legislative session each year and maintain a majority. The snow jam last week just re-emphasized a chronic problem that does not require frozen precipitation to raise it’s ugly head….

The Last Democrat in Georgia February 7, 2014 at 4:17 am

That’s an excellent point about last week’s snow jam just re-emphasizing a chronic traffic problem that also exists when the weather is dry and perfect.

But even though the Georgia GOP may not be all that adept at handling Metro Atlanta’s transportation issues, because the GOP generally keeps taxes low, is excellent at fundraising, and is really good at turning out their voting base on a consistent basis in statewide elections (three things which Georgia Democrats don’t seem to be too good at doing at the moment), the GOP will likely keep a strong majority in Georgia politics for the foreseeable future until the Democrats can present a viable alternative that appeals to the state’s largely-conservative electorate.

Though, it is likely that the state’s rapidly-changing demographics (which will most likely turn Georgia into a ‘majority-minority’ state sometime within the next 10-15 years or so) will automatically gradually erode the GOP’s legislative supermajorities even without the presence of a robust or viable Democratic alternative.

If anything is to be done about Metro Atlanta’s transportation challenges on a large-scale, it will have to be done by that dominant GOP majority or it just simply will not get done.

Dave Bearse February 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

I’m betting on not get done.

The Last Democrat in Georgia February 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Unfortunately, that seems to be a pretty safe bet.