With one week before the vote, transportation sales tax referendum supporters and opponents are working hard to get out their message. Next Tuesday, voters in 10 metro area counties will decide if they want to pay a penny extra on every dollar they spend to fund a wide variety of transportation improvements.
One of the main referendum opponents, Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, joined other Republican lawmakers on Tuesday to say they are opposed to the referendum.
"We do not believe that the current T-SPLOST plan will solve the traffic problems as it is being portrayed to the voters, and as it was sold to legislators from the very beginning. Each one of us is committed to solving that traffic problem. Each one of us is committed to start that process immediately following what we believe will be the failure of the T-SPLOST on July 31," said Rogers.
Supporters of the referendum say the tax would raise nearly $7 billion, which would be used to pay for 157 different road and transportation projects.
According to a study by Georgia State University, households making $40,000 would pay $247 annually. At the $50,000, the amount rises to $286, while at $70,000, the cost rises to $439.
Former Georgia governor Roy Barnes and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, both supporters of the measure, met with Cobb County business and civic leaders later on Tuesday.
"It's the best thing we have going right now and it's not going to get any better," said Barnes. "You defeat this and Charlotte will be the next great city in the Southeast."
"We have a way that is honest, open, ethical and appropriate and meets the challenge of traffic that our competitors use to beat us. And it also will provide investment that's going to put folks back to work," said Reed.
Public opinion polls show that the referendum is in jeopardy of defeat. Supporters say they believe that it can succeed.
The sales tax referendum vote is scheduled for July 31.