As proponents of a proposed regional transportation sales tax unveiled a new website on Wednesday, those on the other side have launched a grassroots campaign to inform voters of what it says is the truth about the tax.
Approximately 75 grassroots activists representing several organizations, along with elected officials who opposed the one percent transportation sales tax, gathered at Adventure Outdoors in Marietta to discuss the proposed one percent sales tax statewide referendum.
“We put out the invitation to various grassroots organizers to meet under one roof and learn more about this tax,” said Jack Staver, chairman of the grassroots effort, Transportation Leadership Coalition. “We were very pleased with the response from across the state as far south as Valdosta.”
The result of this meeting was a coordinated effort to oppose the will alleviate traffic congestion in the metro Atlanta area.
The focus of TLC is to educate the public on .
The primary education vehicle for TLC will be its website, TrafficTruth.net, as well as email and social media.
Some of the key claims of TLC are:
- Proposed rail projects will not relieve traffic congestion.
- TSPLOST is not a “temporary tax.” Ultra-expensive projects will require billions more to complete than the allocated tax amount.
- There is a 'Plan B.'
“MAVEN is well funded to the tune of $2 million some of which is through the unconstitutional use of taxpayer money from CID’s (Community Improvement District)," Staver said.
"We are truly a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization that is self-funded through donations," he said. "We dispel the myths about traffic solutions claimed by ARC (Atlanta Regional Commission) through our fact sheet, which can be downloaded from our website, TrafficTruth.net. The two-page document provides voters with real facts and real numbers that rebut every falsehood from ARC, MAVEN and Untie Atlanta."
Other organizations are also opposed to the tax plan including the NAACP, Sierra Club, 9-12 projects and the Georgia Campaign for Liberty. While these groups all oppose the tax for different reasons, for TLC it's just proof that there are issues with the TSPLOST plan and the tax across the board.
"One big question is why is it legal for an organization like ARC to use taxpayer dollars to tell lies and falsehoods to the voters," Staver said. "If the TSPLOST was such a great idea, why do they need $2 million plus an additional $6 million from Untie Atlanta for an advertising campaign to spin it and sell it to the people of Georgia? One would think they could deliver a winning message without resorting to lying to the voters. And finally, why would the people of Georgia want to give up local control, also known as 'home rule?'"
TLC is encouraging public debate on the topic to include both sides of the issue.