• Group says transportation referendum helps, hurt some taxpayers

    By: Kerry Kavanaugh


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A grassroots taxpayer association claims the July transportation tax referendum will benefit residents in some counties while sticking the bill to others.

    The Georgia Taxpayer's Alliance, a local grassroots organization, has launched a campaign to get people to vote "no."

    "We don't feel comfortable being a donor county," says Ron Willliams, associate director of the group said.

    Williams told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh a one-cent sales tax for transportation improvements won't improve enough in Gwinnett County.

    The Transportation Initiative Act, or TIA, is a $8.5 billion list of projects in 10 Metro Atlanta counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, DeKalb, Rockdale, Henry, Clayton, Fayette and Douglas.

    Advocates have launched a major campaign reminding drivers of the nasty commute times that strike all major roads.

    In response, the alliance is fighting back with their own campaign. The grassroots group launched a blog at www.tsplost.info with the word "boondoggle" front and center.

    "It's our money we would like to keep in our pockets, or at least control where it goes," said Williams

    Williams fears the regional approach will inevitably shortchange certain areas.

    We went online and found a series of projects slated for Gwinnett County. But, the biggest chunk -- $95 million -- funds Interstate 85 improvements, which first need to be studied.

    "It doesn't even cover the operational or maintenance expenses," Williams said.

    Williams doesn't deny the need for transportation improvement. But with a limited budget and a website, he said he's fighting to keep local taxpayer money local.

    Voters will get to decide on July 31.

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