Transit tax opposition getting louder in Cobb County

By Janel Davis   The Atlanta Journal-Constitution If you go to almost any public meeting in…

Georgia (May 25, 2012) — By Janel Davis


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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

If you go to almost any public meeting in Cobb County — no matter the topic — conversation is most likely to turn to the proposed regional transportation referendum.  

And the voices you’ll hear are often opponents strongly sharing their misgivings. With the county’s commission chairman’s race about to officially launch, the conversation is expected to get even more intense as campaign rivals attack incumbent Tim Lee’s support of the transportation plan that early on included a controversial rail line in Cobb.

In July, voters from 10 counties will go to the polls to decide whether to approve a 10-year, 1 percent sales tax to pay for $6.14 billion in regional transportation projects compiled by a group of elected officials from each of the counties, known as the regional roundtable. Though Cobb isn’t the largest county in the region, it has plenty of voters and plenty of sales tax dollars.

And it could have plenty of influence. Vocal Cobb opponents are working with groups in other counties and combining resources and sweat equity for a metrowide surge. Two recent polls differ on how the referendum will fare in the suburban counties.

“Cobb is one of the spokes in the wheel. They are right in the clutch of transportation issues and traffic,” said Kerwin Swint, political science professor at Kennesaw State University. “Cobb is a big target of voters, and turnout here will be very important here and in Gwinnett.” 

And one of Cobb’s core characteristics, he said, is its long-standing record of organized opposition. 


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