Tuesday, July 31, 2012
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CONYERS -- Voters in Rockdale County gave a resounding "no" to the 1 percent transportation sales tax on Tuesday's Primary Election ballot, but whether or not the tax will be implemented will depend on results from the other nine counties in the Atlanta region.
Total results were not available at presstime Tuesday night.
With voter turnout at more than 37 percent, Rockdale voters rejected T-SPLOST with 12,484 "no" votes to 5,433 "yes" votes. T-SPLOST lost in every one of Rockdale's 18 precincts.
State economists predict that the T-SPLOST will generate $6.14 billion in the Atlanta Region -- which consists of Rockdale, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett and Henry counties and the city of Atlanta -- over the 10 years of the tax. Rockdale County is expected to generate $104 million in tax revenue and is slated to receive $94.3 million in road projects, making Rockdale what some would call a "donor county."
Projects on the T-SPLOST list for Rockdale are: extending Sigman Road to Hayden Quarry Road in DeKalb County; widening Sigman Road from two to four lanes between Lester Road and Dogwood Drive; constructing a non-access bridge over I-20; and widening Flat Shoals Road to four lanes between Salem and Old Salem roads.
Proponents of the T-SPLOST argue that regional projects outside a county's borders still benefit residents of that county. They point out that improvements are slated at four interstate interchanges -- Spaghetti Junction, I-75/I-85, I-285/Ga. 400 and I-285/I-20 -- which will improve traffic coming in and out of Atlanta.