ATLANTA - A new poll indicates support for a regional transportation sales tax is dropping one month before voters decide the issue.
A Rosetta Stone Communications poll conducted for Channel 2 Action News found only 38 percent of voters in 10 metro counties support the proposed tax, while 49 percent oppose the plan.
Those numbers show a drop in support of the tax from late May when a Rosetta Stone poll showed 42 percent supported the referendum and 45 percent opposed the measure.
The 1 cent sales tax is expected to collect more than $6 billion over the next decade to fund a long list of traffic and mass transit projects. Local governments would also get $1 billion for additional transportation projects.
The 10 counties included in the metro Atlanta region are Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties. Other regions in Georgia will vote on their own local tax and projects. The statewide primary will take place on July 31.
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Voters were read the question as it appears on the ballot and asked which primary they would vote in. Fifty-six percent said they would vote in the Republican primary and 44 percent said they would vote in the state’s Democratic primary.
Men polled were opposed to the TSPLOST more than women, and voters ages 18 to 39 were largely in support of the transportation tax.
When voters in the poll were divided geographically there was far more support for the plan in areas closer to the city of Atlanta than the suburban counties. DeKalb and Fulton county voters support the referendum by a margin of 50 percent to 32 percent. Voters in the eight suburban counties opposed the tax by a margin of 61 percent to 29 percent.
Pollster John Garst said the TSPLOST is losing the most in north Fulton, Cobb and Cherokee counties. He told Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary that supporters need to concentrate on south DeKalb and Clayton counties if they hope to improve their numbers, but Garst warned the window of opportunity is closing.
The poll of 875 people was conducted on June 27 and had a margin of error of 3 percent.
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