FULTON CO, Ga – Voters living in Fulton County outside of Atlanta will decide if proposed transportation improvements are worth paying an extra three-quarters of a penny in sales tax.
If approved, the TSPLOST vote would raise more than a half-billion dollars over five years for transportation projects in unincorporated Fulton County and thirteen cities outside of Atlanta.
On Highway 138 in Union City, employees at an auto shop say congestion has become unbearable.
“Makes me late to work every day,” says one employee. “I have to get up an hour early to get here.”
The shop is right around the corner from Atlanta Metro Studios, where A-list stars gather to shoot movies and TV shows. Union City's Mayor worries congestion here will bring consequences.
“It could negate any possible other opportunities of development,” says Mayor Vince Williams. “Retail, restaurants, all of those things.”
Widening a portion of Highway 138 near the junction with I-85 is one of many proposals that would be funded by the TSPLOST.
Each area has come up with its own list of projects. What you won’t see is much about public transportation. Government leaders are hoping to tackle that issue in 2017 with a proposed quarter-penny tax.
“We felt road improvements, that was more of the immediate need,” says Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves. “We recognize transit is sort of a long term strategy.”
The money raised would be divided proportionally according to population. For example, Alpharetta with 11% of Fulton County's population outside of Atlanta would get 11% of the revenue, or about $62-million. Union City, with 3% of the population could get $20 million.
The proposed list of projects in both unincorporated Fulton County and each of the thirteen cities are all on the Fulton County website.