ATLANTA -- Two weeks ahead of the primary election, an exclusive 11Alive News poll shows a majority of voters oppose a tax increase for regional transportation projects. The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) would equal one cent for every dollar spent in a given region.
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Among likely voters surveyed by SurveyUSA for 11Alive News, across the state, 48% said they would vote against T-SPLOST and 36% said they would vote for it if the primary were today; 16% were still undecided. The margin of error was 3.4%.
Broken down by region, 49% of likely voters in the state's most populous region, Metro Atlanta (region 3), said they would vote against T-SPLOST while 36% would vote for it.
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In Northwest Georgia (region 1), 66% would vote against it and 22% would vote for it.
In the Georgia Mountains (region 2), 61% would vote against it and 24% would vote for it.
Northeast Georgia (region #5) was split on the vote with 40% in favor and 41% opposed. The margin of error was 3.4% among likely voters.
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Asked how familiar respondents were with the proposed projects in their areas, 26% of all respondents said they were very familiar, 36% said they were somewhat familiar, 21% were not very familiar, 14% said they were not at all familiar with the projects and 2% said they were not sure. The margin of error was 2.8%.
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Whether the measure passes or not, most people said they didn't think T-SPLOST would make a difference to traffic in their area in the long run.
If it passed, 56% of all respondents said traffic would stay about the same, 22% thought it would get better, 11% thought it would get worse, and 12% were not sure. The margin of error was 2.8%.
If it didn't pass, 67% of all respondents said traffic would stay about the same, 7% thought it would get better, 18% thought it would get worse, and 9% were not sure. The margin of error was 2.6%.
About half of all respondents, 49%, said T-SPLOST advertising has made no difference on how they will vote. Among the rest, 19% said ads made them more likely to vote for the measure, 23% said ads made them more likely to vote against it, 3% said they haven't seen any ads, and 6% were not sure. The margin of error was 2.8%.
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Half of all respondents thought the government would mishandle any money raised from the penny sales tax. Specifically, 27% thought is was not very likely and 23% thought it was not at all likely that the funds would be properly handled. In contrast, 11% thought it was very likely and 31% thought it was somewhat likely that the money would be properly handled. The remaining 7% said they were not sure, and the margin of error was 2.8%.
Opponents of the transportation tax have argued that the wording of the preamble to the ballot measure is unfair. It states "Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight." Of people surveyed, 44% thought the wording was fair, 36% thought it was unfair, and 20% were not sure. The margin of error was 2.8%
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The poll included 1,292 registered voters from across Georgia. Of those, 886 have already cast their ballots or were identified as being likely to vote in the July 31 election.