Keep transportation funding flexible
As one of your constituents, I am writing to ask you to expand our transportation choices and support public transit.
Georgia needs to catch up with other states in funding public transportation. As currently written, HB 277 and HR 206 would give regions the flexibility they need to build light rail, commuter rail, streetcars and other transit options. The legislation also allows regions to decide what time frame makes sense for the new transportation funding based on the kind of projects they need in their region.
I am worried that conference committee members could alter this good legislation. They may try to insert a 10 year time limit on new funding. Federal Transit Administration rules require us to show that we can operate new transit for at least 20 years before they will provide matching funds. Many states beating Georgia for rail funds have approved funding for 30 years or more of transit operations.
Help keep us economically competitive by opposing any changes that deny each region the flexibility to decide how long a new transportation tax should last.
Please support allowing the fourth penny of the motor fuel sales tax to be used for transit in addition to roads and bridges.
Also, please vote to support legislation that ensures MARTA has the flexibility in funding it needs to remain viable (SB 120) and gives Clayton County voters the chance to restore transit and join MARTA (HB 1393 and HB 1446).
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