A straw poll was held at the Fulton County Republican Party Annual Barbecue on Sunday, June 24th at Chukkar Farms. The question include most of the language of the upcoming T-SPLOST referendum to add a penny sales tax to fund transportation improvements in Metro Atlanta. The straw poll was sponsored by the Buckhead Young Republicans.
The referendum will take place on July 31st in conjunction with the Republican and Democratic Primaries and nonpartisan judicial elections.
The results were 55 votes against imposing the additional penny sales tax, to seven votes in favor and two undecided.
The question presented on the straw poll did not include the controversial preamble that will appear on the ballot preceding the actual ballot question.
Conservative activists and the Atlanta Tea Party have criticized the preamble, which states that the tax measure,“Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight,” as being “marketing language” that is inappropriate for the ballot.
Buckhead Young Republicans Chairman Greg Williams, who oversaw the straw poll, said:
The T-SPLOST is an ill-conceived plan that will do nothing to relieve congestion in the first five years, as most of the heavy lifting projects, like the I 285/400 Interchange improvements aren’t even slated to BEGIN construction until the year 2020 at the earliest.
The pro-regressive tax movement acts like its some urgent measure that we must pass now yet they fail to mention it will be at least 8 years of more taxes until anything remotely tangible is produced.
Republican discontent with the T-SPLOST may also affect the Republican Primary election for State Senate between Senator Chip Rogers, the incumbent and Senate Majority Leader and challenger Brandon Beach, who is President of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Georgia DOT Board.
Rogers was spotted wearing an anti-T-SPLOST sticker at the North Fulton GOP barbecue, while Beach raised money for the pro-T-SPLOST “education” campaign.
I have previously noted that Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee’s fortunes in the Republican Primary there hinge on the T-SPLOST vote and things are looking dim for T-SPLOST supporters and the political professionals hired to pass the tax increase.