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Old 02-09-2012, 06:30 PM
 
Location: East side - Metro ATL
1,325 posts, read 2,073,861 times
Reputation: 1197

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This has been said over and over again, but if we do not pass the penny sales tax, the Atlanta metro region will decline due to other competitive cities becoming more advanced and transit friendly. Some are still against the Penny-tax such as Fayette County Commissioner, Steve Brown (Passage of transportation referendum critical to ailing metro region, some south metro leaders say *| ajc.com).

Everyone that is thinking about voting no may want to rethink their vote because IMO we will become a stagnant metro area just as Birmingham, Richmond and some other cities throughout the U.S.A did (Just food for thought).
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: ATL
4,688 posts, read 6,282,467 times
Reputation: 1804
Nothing to worry about. Most of the metro population lives in Cobb, Fulton, Dekalb and Gwinnett. As long as those counties come out to vote the win will be easy

Check the population map

Atlanta Metro County Map | Information by County



Cobb 714,692
DeKalb 747,274
Fulton 920,581
Gwinnett 808,167

Cherokee 214,346
Fayette 106,788
Forsyth 175,511
Henry 203,922
Paulding 142,324
Rockdale 85,215

etc
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
208 posts, read 338,437 times
Reputation: 214
I personally wouldn't vote for this unless is was 85%+ just rail. I think many voters are worried it's just the same ole things done... I mean look at the incompetence of the current people who run things, just look at the Gwinnett HOV debacle, the plans to add more lanes to all the interstates, 17th street bridge, etc. etc.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
208 posts, read 338,437 times
Reputation: 214
Here in Denver they passed a similar tax in 2005 and they have all these specific plans for rail lines that spread over 8 counties and will be finished by 2016. The DIA line is currently under construction. There isn't hardly any mention here of new roads or expansion as part of the plan. 122 miles of rail and just 18 miles of buss, and NO mention of road improvements.

But It seems like that tax money in Atlanta is not for any ambitious plan but just to keep gov't employees afloat, and it's all spread out.

Being "cheap" is all Atlanta has going for it... don't ruin that by raising taxes with no ambition.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 11,565,233 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by cityfilms View Post
Here in Denver they passed a similar tax in 2005 and they have all these specific plans for rail lines that spread over 8 counties and will be finished by 2016. The DIA line is currently under construction. There isn't hardly any mention here of new roads or expansion as part of the plan. 122 miles of rail and just 18 miles of buss, and NO mention of road improvements.

But It seems like that tax money in Atlanta is not for any ambitious plan but just to keep gov't employees afloat, and it's all spread out.

Being "cheap" is all Atlanta has going for it... don't ruin that by raising taxes with no ambition.
You have absolutely NO idea of what you are talking about here. Do a little research on Denver's T-REX plan. You didn't live there then, but it was the start of the LRT system in CONJUNCTION with the massive widening and improvements to I-25 down to around the Tech Center area.

You opinions of Atlanta are continually tinged with bitterness, but never very accurate. Seems the accuracy piece now also applies to your new home.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Searching n Atlanta
785 posts, read 1,652,874 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by cityfilms View Post
Here in Denver they passed a similar tax in 2005 and they have all these specific plans for rail lines that spread over 8 counties and will be finished by 2016. The DIA line is currently under construction. There isn't hardly any mention here of new roads or expansion as part of the plan. 122 miles of rail and just 18 miles of buss, and NO mention of road improvements.

But It seems like that tax money in Atlanta is not for any ambitious plan but just to keep gov't employees afloat, and it's all spread out.

Being "cheap" is all Atlanta has going for it... don't ruin that by raising taxes with no ambition.
I totally agree with you. I am very upset that we are going so cheap on the transportation, but I will be voting for the tax in July. Alot of the Non-intrerstate roads in Atlanta are inadequate and need fixing too so I am happy with the mix of road and rail, just wish it was more.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,297 posts, read 7,016,797 times
Reputation: 4040
Quote:
Originally Posted by cityfilms View Post
I personally wouldn't vote for this unless is was 85%+ just rail. I think many voters are worried it's just the same ole things done... I mean look at the incompetence of the current people who run things, just look at the Gwinnett HOV debacle, the plans to add more lanes to all the interstates, 17th street bridge, etc. etc.
Well good... you can go to the ballot box in Denver and vote it down!

No offense man... I think you're a little bit too much on the outside for this. I know you have an experience with the Atlanta area, but your missing some major things that our region needs.

These debacles are not caused by politicians or government workers and the tax doesn't pay for many gov't workers. It will pay for capital projects that are mostly contract projects rewarded to competing private companies.

Truth is plain and simple... Georgia invests very little per capita in transportation compared to just about every other state. The state government controls how tax revenue can be generated at the state and local levels and our total level of spending hasn't kept pace, where as states like North Carolina spend almost double. If anything most of our transportation "debacles" are coming from a few politicians desperately looking for some kind of idea to be able to fund something. If we can put some real money down on real projects, then we don't have debacles caused by tiny amounts of spending.

The Georgia legislature made this tax possible to help fill the gap. It isn't perfect, nor is it everything that is needed. However, It is a sizable amount of money that can help fill that gap.

Truth is I would vote for it if it was 100% road or 100% transit, because our region in the past 15-20 years is that far behind in both.

If people will get off their 100% road only or 100% transit only high horses they will see every bit of these projects are needed in our region.

Yes, these projects are very spread out. However, that is largely because our city is is huge in area AND population. If we are to pass a tax as a region, then we have to make sure there is something for everyone.

This is a small bit of what this tax does:

1)Updates most of the major thoroughfares in Atlanta's downtown/midtown core (inside the beltline if you will allow me to call it that) This benefits intown residents and suburban downtown/midtown commuters alike. This benefits the facilitation of transit (buses) and cars. This work hasn't been done in decades and is badly needed. There isn't much debating that, but these are roads...critical roads.

2) puts a sizable down payment on the beltline project, which is a large, ambitious one. A project that can become self-funding if given the help to do so.

3) links one major employment center to high capacity transit that is not served by high capacity transit or a freeway. (Emory)

4)Creates much stronger road connections between John's Creek/Alpharettea and the Peachtree Industrial/I-85 corridor. If you knew our region well you would know these are two parallel corridors in close proximity currently attracting tons of high paying, high-tech jobs to our region. We can't pass a tax just to funnel people downtown and ignore the parts of our region that are our competing very well with outside markets. This particular area is especially important, because it is the only area before, during, and after the recession that has managed to attract more jobs that have above average salaries than it has lost. Sadly, because of the nature of existing development transit alone can't be use to make this area successful as an employment center. Transit is more likely to serve those commuting outside the region, rather than serve these employers (for the time being). This means road money is required.

5) The Sugarloaf pkwy ext. is a magnet for anyone that wants to rail against freeway funding. Truth is it isn't designed to be a major freeway. Without it Gwinnett will have to find even more money to overhaul the local roads in the area. This is designed to relieve the local roads from intra-county regional traffic

6) Converting most of Gwinnett's GA 316 to a limited access highway. This has been badly needed for years. It is a major safety improvement and will greatly affect the lives of many people. It isn't transit, however it is extremely hard to argue that this isn't an important project for our region.

7) This commits the engineering funding, right of way expense, and part down payment on 5 major high capacity transit corridors leading out of the core city. 5! No, it will not build them all, but these are all expensive projects that together this tax couldn't fund on its own 100% anyways. The reason this is important is we need to do the assessments and engineering that will take 5+ years of planning anyways and we need to be able to buy undeveloped right of way to prevent it from being more costly to buy later when it is already developed. This is a significantly important funding that will make it cheaper for our second TSPLOST tax (when the first expires) to be able to fund more transit. It also will position us better for federal funding if it should become available by an increased funding in transportation in the annual funding of the federal government. This is important, because Obama has just requested a massive increase in transportation spending in next year's general fund. So while I admit and saddened these can't be fully funded, I see the necessity that we spend this portion now. If we don't projects later will be much more expensive and we will never have matching funds for federally paid projects. In short, spending this amount now, will make it much more manageable to afford in the future. I know it isn't as sexy, but that doesn't make is unimportant.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
208 posts, read 338,437 times
Reputation: 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnatl View Post
You have absolutely NO idea of what you are talking about here. Do a little research on Denver's T-REX plan. You didn't live there then, but it was the start of the LRT system in CONJUNCTION with the massive widening and improvements to I-25 down to around the Tech Center area.
Nice try, but wrong plan, I'm talking about Fastracks, T-REX was just a $1.67 Billion plan, Fastracks is $7 Billion. But in your desperate attempt to discredit me I'm sure you'll correct my figures, they might be off by a few dollars, lol.

Regardless of which PLAN you thought I was talking about, both plans are better than anything done in Atlanta in the past 20 years.

You can't argue on principle, apparently.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:30 AM
 
Location: atlanta
3,883 posts, read 4,402,994 times
Reputation: 3064
Quote:
Originally Posted by cityfilms View Post
I personally wouldn't vote for this unless is was 85%+ just rail. I think many voters are worried it's just the same ole things done... I mean look at the incompetence of the current people who run things, just look at the Gwinnett HOV debacle, the plans to add more lanes to all the interstates, 17th street bridge, etc. etc.
please vote for it. it's about 5% rail and in the atlanta area we can't do much better than that because of the tea partiers. in this kind of situation you can't "hold out for better", this is all we're going to get.


also, it looks like there may be trouble getting it on the ballot in july after all:

WABE: New T-SPLOST Postponement Legislation Raises New Questions About the Prospects for the Transportation Plan (2012-02-08)
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:43 AM
 
7,505 posts, read 9,209,859 times
Reputation: 5362
I'm just worried giving the government additional tax money for something that should be covered anyway. I mean, I've lived in plenty of places where the roads get fixed and expanded all the time without residents paying a special transportation tax.

I'm afraid this takes accountability away from our officials and lets them think they can just rely on new sales taxes to fund everything.

If they get this, what is next? A penny sales tax so Georgia Power can update the power grid? A penny sales tax to fund our police and fire stations? A penny tax for libraries?

I'm all for helping transportation, I just thought that was built into the taxes we already pay. How have they dropped the ball so poorly that they require an additional special tax just to fund projects that should be funded anyway?

I just think that maybe we should consider more forward looking leadership instead of providing more funds for the current band of fools to squandor.

Not saying I'm necessarily against it, but I'm not voting yes just because some people here said so. I've seen the plan and I'm going to require a lot of convincing that it's worth a penny sales tax, especially due to the paltry contributions for rail.

Right now I think the leaders are playing residents as fools trying to get us to give them more money so they can fund projects that they should have been funding all along instead of doing God knows what with all the tax revenue that they did receive.
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