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Gov. Deal strongly endorses transportation sales tax

"As an individual, I do advocate for it. Secondly, as a governor, I am advocating for it because this is not a legislatively imposed tax. It is a tax increase that the people themselves will decide about." - Nathan Deal

With traffic creeping along the I-75/I-85 Connector below, Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle stood high atop an 18-story Midtown office tower early Wednesday evening and urged Metro Atlantans to vote in favor of next month’s regional transportation penny sales tax referendum.

The pair addressed a small group of reporters atop the Atlantic Station building prior to a private fundraiser for local business leaders who are in favor of the tax’s passage.

A new Insider Advantage poll of 539 people shows that 47 percent of those asked would vote against the 10-year, one cent sales tax, with 32 percent for it and 21 percent undecided. But those numbers didn’t phase Deal, who brushed aside the notion that he was backtracking on his no-tax pledge.

Many projects are on the table for Buckhead, should the vote pass. See the major projects here.

“First of all, the pledge relates to new taxes that were going to be initiated by legislative action. And as you know, the only tax reform and tax changes that have been initiated since I’ve been governor have been to cut taxes,” Deal said. “Last year was a major example of that, to be able to eliminate the sales tax on energy for manufacturing, so we can create more jobs. To increase by $2,000 the couples’ exemptions on their tax returns, to eliminate the marriage tax penalty,

“Now, for those who would interpret (the pledge) that way, I have two things to say. First of all, I never signed a pledge to give away my First Amendment rights. And my First Amendment rights are to advocate whatever I see fit. And as an individual, I do advocate for it.

“Secondly, as a governor, I am advocating for it because this is not a legislatively imposed tax. It is a tax increase that the people themselves will decide about. And for those who say otherwise, it seems to me that they would take away the right of the people to express their opinions of this importance.”

See the accompanying video for more comments from Deal and Cagle concerning their endorsements of the sales tax that would pay for road and mass transit projects throughout the region.

Allie F. June 15, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Sadly, this "tax" does nothing to alleviate the traffic morass in Atlanta. Just more needless spending....bike trials and walkways in parks? Please. Our inept local government is already spending MILLIONS on a trolley to no where. Atlantan are taxed enough, and now even being charged to drive down freeways paid for by the same tax payers on I-85. This is Government spending OUT OF CONTROL.
Bill D June 15, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Allie F, that is simply not true. The money is going to be spent on expanding/improving roadways, (helping traffic flow better) and expanding the MARTA rail line into a system that will a viable alternative to driving around/to the city, which will get cars off the highway and surface streets.
Michael Packer (Editor) June 16, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Allie, here are the main projects that would have an impact on traffic in Buckhead: http://patch.com/A-vfdF

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