Atlanta area voters overwhelming passed two transportation funding tax increases in Tuesday’s election.
The tax increases will provide significant funding for the Beltline, other Atlanta street projects and expansion of MARTA buses and rail lines.
“Tonight, voters approved two historic proposals to authorize the City of Atlanta and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to modernize, expand and enhance our city’s transportation system,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a news release.
In a board meeting on Wednesday, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. officials said the tax increase was good news for Beltline projects.
The first tax increase, a .4 percent sales tax, is a special purpose local option sales tax for transportation – or T-SPLOST. It would generate approximately $300 million over a five-year period, according to the city’s website.
Some of the projects that the T-SPLOST would pay for include:
- $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.
The second measure, 0.5 percent sales tax, would fund MARTA transit expansion and enhancements in the city. The tax will generate an estimated $2.5 billion over 40 years that would be spent on high-capacity rail improvements, new infill rail stations, new buses, and other services.
“When Renew Atlanta projects are combined with our proposed TSPLOST and MARTA projects, 94 percent of our city’s residents and 98 percent of jobs will be within a half-mile of a new transportation project,” Reed said.
FULTON COUNTY T-SPLOST
Yes Percent 52.80% Votes 119,847
No Percent 47.20% Votes 107,121
Yes Percent 67.97% Votes 115,951
No Percent 32.03% Votes 54,632
ATLANTA MARTA REFERENDUM
Yes Percent 71.53% Votes 123,539
No Percent 28.47% Votes 49,163
ATLANTA T-SPLOST (DeKalb)
Yes Percent 76% Votes 13,439
No Percent 24% Votes 4,245
ATLANTA MARTA REFERENDUM (Dekalb)
Yes Percent 79.3% Votes 14,128
N0 Percent 20.7% Votes 3,689