Rejecting transportation sales tax could cost voters

by: John Bachman Updated:

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ATLANTA —

Channel 2 Action News has uncovered a clause in a regional transportation sales tax referendum that could cost taxpayers even more if it does not pass.

The transportation referendum is on the ballot in July and asks voters to decide on a 1 cent sales tax to reduce the area's congested highways. Now critics of the plan say that voting against the proposal could actually cost tax payers even more.

Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews showed Channel 2's John Bachman construction work taking place Thursday on Cobb International Boulevard.

Mathews said his city can currently get a state grant for the road work and only has to pay about 10 percent of the project, about $40,000.

Should the transportation referendum fail, the local match for road work would triple for every community, meaning the same project would cost taxpayers in the city of Kennesaw $120,000, according to Mathews.

"It would be funds we would have to figure out, how we could fund it. I don't know what we would do," Mathews said.

One voter Bachman talked to said knowing about the penalty could sway her opinion.

"One way or another, someone's going to pay. The state's going to find a way to pass that onto us," said Rhonda Stearns.

The referendum on the transportation sales tax is July 31.