Mayor Kasim Reed announced July 19 that the Atlanta City Council has voted 13 to 1 to approve a measure to put a special local option sales tax (TSPLOST) referendum on the November ballot to fund transportation related infrastructure projects throughout the City of Atlanta. The ballot referendum will ask Atlanta voters to authorize a 0.4 percent sales tax increase for a five-year period. The TSPLOST is projected to generate approximately $260 million, shop which will be leveraged to generate additional matching funds.
The project list includes high priority projects from the Connect Atlanta plan and more than a dozen neighborhood and community plans that have been adopted in the last six years, diagnosis and features projects in nearly all of the city’s commercial districts, drugs including:
- $66 million for the Atlanta BeltLine, which will allow the BeltLine to purchase all the remaining right of way to close the 22-mile loop;
- $75 million for 15 complete streets projects;
- $3 million for Phase 2 of the Atlanta Bike Share program;
- $69 million for pedestrian improvements in sidewalks; and
- $40 million for traffic signal optimization.
“Infrastructure investments are vital to Atlanta’s quality of life and continued economic competitiveness,” said Mayor Reed. “Between the $250 million being spent through the Renew Atlanta bond program and these TSPLOST funds, Atlanta will reap the benefits of more than a half billion dollars invested in new and improved roads, sidewalks, neighborhood greenways, parks and congestion reduction efforts. Combined with a $3 billion expansion of our public transit system through MARTA, Atlanta residents will see unprecedented new investments in strengthening our transportation networks.”
Senate Bill 369, which authorized the city’s TSPLOST and MARTA tax referenda, requires the City to forward its resolution to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners for final approval. Fulton County has called a special meeting on August 8 to consider the TSPLOST resolutions from Atlanta and other Fulton municipalities. The TSPLOST within the City of Atlanta will raise funds exclusively for projects within the city and is separate from SPLOST projects outside the City of Atlanta.
The ballot language will read, “Shall an additional 0.4percent sales tax be collected in the City of Atlanta for 5 years for the purpose of transportation improvements and congestion reduction?” The referendum will appear on the ballot on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. If approved by the voters, the TSPLOST will take effect on April 1, 2017.