SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES AND USE TAX REFERENDUM, if enacted, would raise the city’s sales tax by 0.4 percentage points in order to fund improvements to Atlanta’s beltline. It is estimated that this tax increase would raise $380 million over the next five years. Like all sales taxes, this proposed hike is regressive – hurting those struggling to make ends meet. Likewise, the sales tax hike will drive shoppers into neighboring counties and cities, making Atlanta less competitive.
METROPOLITAN ATLANTA RAPID TRANSIT AUTHORITY SALES AND USE TAX REFERENDUM, would, if supported by voters, increase Atlanta’s sales tax by 0.5 percentage points in order to expand and upgrade the city’s light rail system, MARTA. It is estimated that this sales tax hike would generate approximately $2.5 billion over the next 40 years. Residents of Atlanta already pay a one percent MARTA sales tax. Coupled with the Special Purpose Local Option Sales and Use Tax Referendum (above), this sales tax is regressive and would make Atlanta less competitive relative to its neighboring municipalities by raising the city’s sales tax from 8 percent currently to 8.9 percent if both pass. As the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has noted, ride-sharing and bus services could be wiser investments for moving people than many proposed rail projects in Atlanta.
TRANSPORTATION SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES AND USE TAX, would, if enacted, increase the sales tax by 0.75 percentage points in Fulton County to fund road and transportation improvements. This ballot measure will only apply to the areas of Fulton County that fall outside the city limits of Atlanta and, if enacted, would fund efforts to alleviate traffic congestion there. It is estimated this measure would raise $600 million over five years. Funds would be barred from going to subsidize public transportation. If enacted, the regressive sales tax would hit particularly hard those who can least afford to pay it and lead to larger, more expansive government.