New figures show a proposed transportation sales tax could generate as much as $8.4 billion in the Atlanta metro area over a 10-year period. Statewide, the tax could rake in up to $18.6 billion for transportation projects during the same period, according to estimates released by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Next year, voters will be asked to approve the 1 percent, 10-year sales tax for the purpose of funding transportation projects. Voters in each of Georgia’s 12 regions will be presented with a list of transportation projects for that region. If voters pass the tax, money collected within that region will be used to fund the specified projects.
Gwinnett is part of the Atlanta Regional Commission region. Members of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable executive committee are currently in the process of whittling down a 445-item, $22.9 billion "unconstrained" list of suggested transportation projects into a "constrained" list that can be funded with the revenue the proposed transportation special purpose local option sales tax or TSPLOST is expected to generate.
Updated revenues projections released on June 15 by state economist Kenneth Heaghney show the Atlanta metro region could receive as much as $8.4 billion in tax proceeds for transportation. In the worst-case scenario, the metro area would only take in $6.8 billion. Of those funds, 85 percent would be allocated for regional transportation projects. The remaining 15 percent would be sent to local governments to fund local projects.
As part of the forecast process, economists examined historical data including personal income, population and employment figures from sources including the Department of Community Affairs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
As work continues to narrow down the current $22.9 billion list of projects into a list that could be funded with the projected revenue, the Atlanta Regional Roundtable will solicit citizen input regarding the project list during a series of telephone town hall meetings.
According to an announcement on the Atlanta Regional Roundtable website, over one million people will be called over six evenings and asked to participate in a phone discussion with local Roundtable representatives. Gwinnett’s telephone town hall meeting will take place on June 20 at 7:15 p.m. To participate, residents may be randomly called or may choose to call 1-888-886-6603. The PIN for the Gwinnett call is 16724.
Local governments, transit agencies and other organizations from the 10-county metro Atlanta region submitted their suggestions for the transportation special purpose local option sales tax or TSPLOST project list earlier this year. On June 1, a vetted “unconstrained” list was delivered to the Roundtable. The 21-member Roundtable includes the mayor of Atlanta, mayors from each of the 10 counties and 10 county commission chairs including .
A final “constrained” list must be approved by the full 21-member Roundtable. That list is due in October.