On 1 July, the Clayton County Commission voted to authorize a binding MARTA referendum for the November General Election. Clayton County residents would be asked if they support a half-penny sales tax to fund MARTA operations in their community.
Georgia Unfiltered and Home Rule News attended Tuesday's meeting, and got reaction from state lawmakers immediately after the county commission took action on the proposed half-penny MARTA sales tax.
To say the Clayton County legislative delegation was not happy is an understatement.
"Right now, my heart is broken," said state Representative Sandra Scott (D - Rex). "No one wants taxes to be raised, but in Clayton County, our people need transportation.
"I feel, as a citizen, with taxes going up [to] 8%, people will still be able to live and do the things that they do. But most importantly, they will have transportation."
State Representative Mike Glanton (D - Jonesboro), who sponsored the bill in the Georgia General Assembly that allows Clayton County to raise its sales tax pass the legal limit in order to fund MARTA, was more blunt.
"Why aren't they trusting us," Glanton asked of the Clayton County Commission. "We are not giving the people a voice to be heard. For this particular issue, it would be detrimental to us as a community to hear the loud and clear voice of the people; to the tune of 80% surveyed, and 65% in 2010. It's a no-brainer."
State Reps. Mike Glanton & Sandra Scott Talk MARTA