The fierce battle between advocates and opponents of the TSPLOST has come to an end. The transportation sales tax unofficially failed in all 10 metro Atlanta counties including Fulton — although by a fairly small margin, with 69,064 (49%) voting yes, and 72,365 (51%) voting no.
Buckhead Patch caught up with voters at Tuesday afternoon and found them to be as evenly split on the issue as the final results in Fulton proved to be.
"I voted yes with a little bit of trepidation," Monica James said. "Certainly I would like to see traffic gridlock reduced and if what they say is true, I would like to see jobs created by the road initiatives. My hesitation was in the fact that the underserved can't afford an additional sales tax but my rationale is that if it creates jobs then that would be a beneficial outcome for them as well."
Monica's daughter, first time voter Caroline James, also voted yes for her own reasons, which she seemed passionate about.
"I voted yes with the intention that hopefully not only will the traffic be reduced but we can reduce carbon emissions by getting more people moving on the road and have less idling," she said. "You idle 30 seconds on the road, that is enough gas to drive a mile. We are really already paying a tax but we are paying it in gasoline, car repair and health costs so we might as well pay a sales tax to get people moving, get people home soon, spend more time with their families and be healthier."
Those who voted no, however, were certain they had made the right decision.
"It is too much tax," said Woody White. "There is no accountability and it is very loose. Too much freedom is given in a day and time when money is tight. You need to have accountability and things be much tighter."
Another voter, who wished to remain annonymous, spoke volumes with just a few words.
When asked if she voted no on TSPLOST she would only say, "You got that right. The government already has too much of our money."
Voters in 12 regions across Georgia were asked to decide on the measure that has potential to generate more than $18 billion for transportation projects across the state over the next decade.
Supporters of the TSPLOST continued to campaign across the region until the final minutes of the Tuesday primary. Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are both among the advocates, and said that passing the referendum would create jobs and improve congestion in the area. They also argue that the failure of the tax's passage would cause long-term economic damage to the region.
Here's how Fulton and other metro Atlanta counties voted:COUNTY YESNOTOTAL Cherokee 9,105 (21%)
44,385 Clayton 16,750 (46%)
36,053 Cobb 38,703 (31%)
124,115 DeKalb 57,915 (48%)
119,707 Douglas 6,383 (32%)
19,917 Fayette 6,677 (24%)
28,389 Fulton 69,064 (49%)
Gwinnett 28,884 (29%)
99,157 Henry 9,405 (29%)
32,776 Rockdale 5,433 (30%)