The lopsided defeat of the T-SPLOST referendum leaves big questions about metro Atlanta's future. Voters rejected the tax proposal by a 63 to 37 percent margin.
Now, many of the decisions on transportation needs are expected to come from the governor's office.
Governor Nathan Deal was in Newton County on Wednesday to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for Baxter International's billion dollar manufacturing plant near Covington. The bio-science facility will eventually employ 1500 workers.
It was the region's ability to attract new business that was a key selling point for the transportation referendum. Now that the sales tax referendum has failed, it's Governor Deal who will step in to lead decision making on funding new transportation projects with limited dollars.
"We will do what we have always done, and that is to make the best use of the taxpayer dollars that are available to us. I think it will require that we reprioritize some projects that perhaps are currently being considered. We're gonna have to have some sharp pencils. We're going to have to eliminate every unnecessary expenditure and make sure that the transportation dollars we have available to us are put in the right place to produce the best results," said Deal.
In metro Atlanta, reconfiguration of the interchange for I-285 and Georgia 400 will be a top priority for funding, but other projects may take a back seat.
Deal says he has no interest in trying to pursue another transportation referendum. Plans leading to Tuesday's vote were made before he took office.
Transportation votes were held in 12 regions across the state; only three regions approved the sales tax hike.
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