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February 1, 2016

Legislation to Expand MARTA Has Been Dropped in the Georgia Senate


Georgia State Senator Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) today introduced legislation (SB 313) to allow the voters of Fulton, Clayton and Dekalb counties to vote on a 1/2 penny sales tax for MARTA expansion.  Last year, the legislature approved a provision within the Transportation Funding Act, permitting individual counties to ask voters to approve a maximum one cent sales tax for transportation. Specifically, the MARTA legislation would allow new transit funds to be bonded on the same 42 year cycle as existing MARTA bonds, an important requirement for funding the system's expansion.

Key elements of the legislation:

  • Voters in MARTA counties will vote on a referendum to increase their sales tax by 1/2 percent in either the 2016 general election or the 2017 municipal election.
  • If all MARTA counties do not approve the referendum, MARTA expansion money may only be spent in the counties that have approved the new TSPLOST.
  • MARTA is required to notify each county when all obligations related to MARTA expansion have been paid in full so that the counties by reduce the levy accordingly.
  • If a new 1/2 percent sales tax is approved by the voters in MARTA counties, then the maximum TSPLOST that can be sought for roads under the TFA is 1/2 percent.

Additional sponsors of the legislation are Senators Tommie Williams (R-Lyons), Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain), Hunter Hill (R-Atlanta).



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