“Let this send a message,” said Debbie Dooley, a Tea Party leader who early on organized opposition to the measure, after the vote. “We the people, you have to earn our trust before asking for more money.”
The thing is, there is currently no remedy in place to address the state’s burgeoning traffic problem. And the Tea Party supporters who campaigned against T-SPLOST don’t have any solutions either.
There was no contact information for Dooley available on the Tea Party Patriots website. However, last September the fact-checking website Politifact gave Dooley a “false” rating on her accusation that 85 percent of the funds collected in each county under T-SPLOST would not be spent in the county in which they are collected.
In fact, the website confirmed that each county would receive a minimum return of at least 77 percent on what is collected from the tax in those jurisdictions.
So what’s Georgia to do? That’s what Gov. Nathan Deal is trying to figure out.
Chris Riley, the governor’s chief of staff, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that Deal called his first session with the state’s top transportation officials to discuss “Plan B.” Traffic planners in regions across the state will be asked to resubmit lists of road and rail proposals requiring state and federal funding. Deal is prioritizing essential projects in the Atlanta metro area, Riley said.
But the newspaper reports there is currently no funding for those projects. While the most direct route toward securing funds would be instituting a small tax increase, asking for such a measure from the state’s Republican-controlled legislature is reportedly “off the table.”