“Shall an additional 0.4 percent sales tax be collected in the City of Atlanta for 5 years for the purpose of transportation improvements and congestion reduction?”
That’s the TSPLOST measure the Atlanta City Council approved 13-to-1 on Monday. ATLiens are also set to consider an additional half-penny sales tax increase for MARTA in November meaning our fair city’s tax rate could be as high as 8.9%.
What would the TSPLOST fund? Lots. The five-year tax is set to raise some $260 million and Mayor Reed says that will be “leveraged” for matching funds.
A press release from Reed’s office said:
The [TSPLOST] project list includes high priority projects from the Connect Atlanta plan and more than a dozen neighborhood and community plans that have been adopted in the last six years, and features projects in nearly all of the city’s commercial districts, including:
- $66 million for the Atlanta BeltLine, which will allow the BeltLine to purchase all the remaining right of way to close the 22-mile loop;
- $75 million for 15 complete streets projects;
- $3 million for Phase 2 of the Atlanta Bike Share program;
- $69 million for pedestrian improvements in sidewalks; and
- $40 million for traffic signal optimization.
“Infrastructure investments are vital to Atlanta’s quality of life and continued economic competitiveness,” said Mayor Reed. “Between the $250 million being spent through the Renew Atlanta bond program and these TSPLOST funds, Atlanta will reap the benefits of more than a half billion dollars invested in new and improved roads, sidewalks, neighborhood greenways, parks and congestion reduction efforts. Combined with a $3 billion expansion of our public transit system through MARTA, Atlanta residents will see unprecedented new investments in strengthening our transportation networks.”
Currently I’m undecided but not opposed to the TSPLOST and MARTA votes. However I can’t say I’m locked in one way or the other.