Commuter Dude: Collection of transportation tax months away

Now that voters have agreed to pay more at the store, it will be months before the extra money goes toward improving your commute.

ATLANTA – Now that voters have agreed to pay more at the store, it will be months before the extra money goes toward improving your commute.

Three separate proposals to raises the sales tax in Fulton County will fund everything from road improvements to the expansion of MARTA.

The city of Atlanta will begin collecting a half-cent sales tax for MARTA beginning in January. Alisa Jackson, spokesperson for MARTA says the first likely change would be an expansion of the city’s bus service. MARTA would have to purchase buses, hire drivers, and plan the added routes.

The authority is planning a series of public hearings to plot the expansion. Reviving old routes that were abandoned years ago is a possibility.

An expansion of MARTA rail within the city is also planned. That will take years.

In unincorporated Fulton County and the 13 cities there outside of Atlanta, you won't start paying the extra tax until next April.

A 3/4 of a penny tax will fund a variety of proposed projects in places like Alpharetta, Roswell, Union City and College Park.

Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves says once the county starts collecting the tax, you could see projects begin soon after.

“A lot of the vetting of projects has already been done by each city,” says Eaves. “The projects that came forward for funding were based on years of research, years of study. A lot of the projects are ready.”

There's also a 4/10 of a penny tax in the city of Atlanta that will go toward projects like extending the Atlanta Beltline.

The city will start collecting on that next April.


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