CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Clayton County commissioners decide tonight if they’ll a put referendum to bring MARTA to the county on the November ballot.
Commissioners can decide against the proposal altogether or between a half-penny or 1-cent sales tax. The full penny would allow a combination of bus and rail. The half-cent tax only bus service.
A group of local pastors gathered outside the Clayton County Commission to show their support for MARTA coming into the county. Clayton County lost mass transit when its C-Tran system ran out of money four years ago.
“People can’t get to jobs. They can’t get to schools. We have a major university here, Clayton State University. We have an outstanding hospital, but what good does it do if people can't get to it?” said the Rev. Jerome Dukes.
“It would be wonderful to get the whole penny now, so that we don’t have to come back later,” said Dukes.
David Griffin says paying a 1-cent sales tax for MARTA beats a cab rides he can’t afford.
“It’s frustrating you can't get around. You have to pay to $30…$40 to go 10 miles,” he said.
Four years ago in a non-binding referendum, the majority of county voters said they would support a tax to bring MARTA into the county.
“We don't believe those numbers have changed and if they have, they actually increased rather than decreased,” said Pastor Mike Glanton.
The vote will be held at 7 p.m. at the Clayton County Commissioners board room at 112 Smith Street, Jonesboro. People are urged to show up by 6 p.m.