GA SB 386
First Reader Summary A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the O.C.G.A., relating to sales and use taxes, so as to provide for an exception to the ceiling on local sales and use taxes; to provide for the imposition of a transit special purpose local option sales and use tax within special districts; to provide for other matters relative to the foregoing; to amend Chapter 32 of Title 50 of the O.C.G.A., relating to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, so as to create the Atlanta-region Transit Link “ATL” Commission to serve as a division within such authority; to provide for purposes of such commission; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
GA SB 386, sponsored by Brandon Beach, increases the non elected governmental layers including the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, which will be the “operator of all rail based transit services within the county.” This increases the scope of MARTA and allows for the implementation of a 30 year transit tax to be voted on in the 159 counties. Of note, “debt which is not satisfied from the proceeds of the tax shall be satisfied from the general funds of the county or qualified municipality.” SB 386 implements regional governance regarding transportation, thus removing local control. The Governor will serve as the chairman of the Atlanta-region Transit Link ‘ATL.’
Proponents of the bill believe a mass transit system is needed to increase economic development in Georgia. “We need to have a unified system that is seamless, efficient, safe and clean,” Beach said. “I want to rebrand our system to ‘The ATL.’ So you would fly into The ATL, get on an ATL train, ATL bus, ATL express bus, ATL streetcar, ATL light rail, whatever we have. We would have a unified brand and I think that would help us with economic development.”
Opponents of the bill believe MARTA has been ineffective and wasteful in managing the transportation needs in Georgia and putting more money behind MARTA organization does not fix the problem. They are also opposed to a regional governance commission that consists almost entirely of appointed, rather than elected, positions.
Get more info here:
- Read SB 386
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