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Metro panel hits transportation sales tax target | News

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Metro panel hits transportation sales tax target
News, Transportation
Metro panel hits transportation sales tax target

ATLANTA -- A subcommittee of local elected officials took nearly four hours Monday to hammer out a $6.1 billion list of highway and transit projects to be funded by a proposed regional sales tax.

The Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable's Executive Committee voted unanimously for the projects just more than seven hours before a deadline required by transportation funding legislation passed by the General Assembly last year.

RELATED: Full transportation project listing

The bill gave roundtables in 12 regions across Georgia until Aug. 15 to develop preliminary project lists. The final lists that will be submitted to voters in each region next year must be completed by Oct. 15.

Working with staff from the Atlanta Regional Commission , Atlanta's executive committee had reduced the regional project list from nearly $23 billion in requests from cities and counties throughout the metro area to $6.56 billion by the end of last week.

On Monday, getting down to the $6.14 billion that would become available if the region's voters approve the penny sales tax referendum proved particularly difficult.

Reluctant to make large cuts to major projects, the five-member executive committee made cuts of a few million dollars to multiple projects to reach the target.

At one point, it appeared the panel was about to split 3-2 on a series of cuts.

But Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd complained that the reductions being considered were tilted too heavily toward Atlanta and DeKalb County and too much toward transit projects.

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