The DeKalb Board of Commissioners is considering renewing the 1% MARTA sales tax paid by DeKalb County residents. We are asking that the County negotiate a 1% renewal that includes a set-aside for rail in southern DeKalb.
Here are some important points:
- The sales tax revenue from only 2 counties (Fulton, DeKalb and City of Atlanta) paid for MARTA for 43 years.
- During this time, residents from many other counties used the transit system.
- A third county (Clayton) joined in 2014. Revenue from these 3 counties (including City of Atlanta) make up 65% of MARTA's total revenue (MARTA's 2019 CAFR).
- Counties that have recently considered paying sales tax revenue (Clayton and Gwinnett) negotiated contracts that reserved a certain amount of their revenue for new MARTA stations. We are asking for the same deal.
- MARTA transit stations are major economic development drivers!
Therefore, the Rice Report offers 3 recommendations.
1. Negotiate renewal of the DeKalb 1% sales tax revenue so that 50% of the revenue is set aside for rail in DeKalb County.
2. Plan for rail on the southern side of DeKalb County - from the City of Atlanta to Stonecrest. Growth is occurring on the southern side of the county.
3. Ask the ATL (the new regional transit board) to ask its 13 county regional board to assume some of the costs of MARTA so that DeKalb and Fulton do not unfairly assume the burden of MARTA operations and maintenance while others use the system.
Thanks to Gina Mangham who spoke at the 1/28/20 Board of Commissioner's meeting asking for the same deal given to Clayton and Gwinnett. If you can help in any way call Gina at 770-715-8122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson at LCJohnson@dekalbcountyga.gov as Chair of the Public Works committee (the committee reviewing the renewal) so she can share with other Commissioners that you support the above recommendations.