David Connell, CEO and President of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, strongly endorsed the regional transportation penny sales tax referendum Thursday at the Acworth Business Association (ABA) Monthly Luncheon at NorthStar Church.
Connell spoke to an audience of about 100 people, which included State Rep. Ed Setzler, Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews and local business leaders. He discussed Cobb's business strategies that are aimed at creating more jobs and boosting the county's competitiveness.
"These are not strategies to use public funding for chamber marketing," he said. "The purpose is to benefit the prosperity of Cobb County, and not the Cobb Chamber.”
When asked about his take on the TSPLOST, Connell urged local business leaders to vote in favor of the tax's passage.
"If TSPLOST doesn't pass, it would be the worst thing ever happened to Atlanta," said Connell. "It's definitely going to hurt the economic development and job growth of our county."
Ed Setzler, Georgia House District 35 Representative, shook his head during Connell's TSPLOST endorsement, and told Patch that he "profoundly" opposes the tax.
"It will not solve our traffic problems," said Setzler. "The only thing it does is bringing in more revenue."
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The tax will pass if the majority of voters in the 10-county region approve it. It will be collected for either 10 years or until the expected $8.5 billion in revenues has been collected, whichever comes first.
Projects are listed on either the 85 percent list, which were developed and approved by the Regional Roundtable; or the 15 percent list, which are local rather than regional projects.
Each of Cobb County's four commissioners were allotted $34.69 million to give to projects in their districts. Additionally, the city of Acworth has a list totaling $4.7 million, and the city of Kennesaw has a list totaling $5.77 million.
Of the revenues expected, $689 million is allotted for the proposed bus rapid transit system, which officials said will cover construction costs as well as 10 years of maintenance and operation. Click here to read all about the TSPLOST and see what others are saying about it.