Poll shows opposition to transportation tax referendum - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Poll shows opposition to transportation tax referendum

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The transportation tax will be decided by voters on July 31. The transportation tax will be decided by voters on July 31.
A new InsiderAdvantage polls shows that most people oppose the penny sales transportation tax referendum. A new InsiderAdvantage polls shows that most people oppose the penny sales transportation tax referendum.
ATLANTA -

Drivers may be fed up with the gridlock in metro-Atlanta, but voters don't seem inclined to pay for a proposed transportation tax to fund improvements.

A new InsiderAdvantage polls shows that most people oppose the penny sales tax referendum, with 47 percent saying they plan to vote against it, 32 percent said they are in favor of it and 21 percent remaining undecided.

With voters heading to the polls in just seven weeks, the latest figures don't bode well for the measure.

Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta Tea Party says the new poll is a reflection of growing opposition of the transportation tax referendum among a cross-section of voters.

"Anytime you have the NAACP, the Tea Party and Sierra Club on the same side of an issue like this, and we all oppose this, you know that it's seriously flawed," said Dooley.

If approved, the one-cent sales tax would raise more than $7 billion over 10 years for metro Atlanta transportation improvements.

John Watson of the Citizens for Transportation Mobility is a leading advocate for the referendum.

"This metropolitan area needs a jump start. We've taken it on the chin in the economy and the great struggles that we've had economically over the past few years. This would be a huge shot in the arm to a region that needs some help," said Watson.

Dooley said an alternate funding method could be in the form of a gas tax.

"The people that are actually using the road and benefit from the road use would actually be paying for the maintenance of it," said Dooley.

Watson said he opposes that measure.

"Why would we ever have an across the board gas tax that would put 25 cents a gallon to raise the same amount of resources that we're talking about. It would be ludicrous," said Watson.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal attended a fundraiser for the transportation campaign on Wednesday. He said he wanted voters to consider the proposal.

"I'm not asking them other than to ask them to use their good conscience and use their good judgment to decide, whether or not in their region, the projects that are proposed to be funded are worthwhile," said Deal.

More than 60 percent of Republicans said they were opposed to the tax, according to the InsiderAdvantage poll.

"It just tells me there's a lot of work to be done, that people need to be educated about the projects are," said Deal, himself a Republican.

Some question whether public trust might be eroded from other transportation projects such as the Georgia 400 tolls. Deal had promised to remove the tolls after his predecessor, Sonny Perdue, had left them in place.

"I think it's important for us to keep the trust of the public," Deal said, pointing to the additional lanes added to the highway since he took office.

The transportation tax will be decided by voters on July 31. In addition to metro Atlanta, 11 other regions in the state will also vote on the one percent transportation tax.

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