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Johns Creek Mayor and City Council Statement on SB 330

February 19, 2016

Citizens deserve unbiased information on SB 330 Transportation Tax

SB 330 promises to increase our taxes in order to bring heavy rail up one corridor in North Fulton. It proposes absolutely no effective resolution to the myriad of traffic problems a rapid transit corridor would create east and west across the region.  Proponents of heavy rail have asserted that the investment of many billions of taxpayer dollars will spur economic development and relieve traffic congestion.  With only one study suggesting a compelling return on investment, and very little examination of significantly less costly and workable solutions, the Senate plans to vote on SB 330 as early as Monday.  We find this vote, and indeed the submission of the bill, to be rushed and incautious. 

It is imperative to note that our citizens have been paying a one cent MARTA tax for over 20 years.  That heavy rail model has failed, miserably, as evidenced by our current traffic crisis and the less than 3% MARTA ridership rate.   It is inconceivable that we as elected officials should ask our citizens to double-down on that failure. Throwing money for expansion of a system that has yet to prove itself even marginally effective is simply not a solution.
 
For these reasons, and more, we as the duly-elected representatives of the citizens of Johns Creek have voted to oppose any increase in MARTA taxes in Fulton County to fund a heavy rail extension up Georgia 400, recognizing that it places an undue tax burden on our citizens and offers no real traffic relief for our city.  We respectfully urge the Senate and House of Representatives to reevaluate the merits of Senate Bill 330 and explore more effective and efficient solutions and funding options.  
 
Johns Creek City Council