2012 transportation sales tax vote to be moved from July to November

Peach Pundit has posted already today about Governor Deal’s plan to have the Georgia Legislature (now dealing with redistricting) move the proposed regional 1% transportation sales tax vote from July 2012 during the primary to November 2012’s general election.

I wrote about that likelihood recently in one of my City Talk columns. The move seemed inevitable for a number of reasons:

  • The July 2012 primary is likely to be dominated in the news cycle by the Republican presidential primary which seems likely to attract a large number of voters who will flatly turn down any tax referendum.
  • With the likelihood of a high urban, high minority, and relatively high Democratic turnout in the 2012 general election, the regional sales tax votes would likely have a better chance to pass then.
  • The additional time could also be crucial for advocates of the sales tax to make their cases that transportation infrastructure projects are vital to Georgia’s future.

And such projects are vital to Georgia’s future, but I’m not certain that all the ones being considered around the state will actually move us forward. As an advocate of more reliance on transit and alternative forms of transportation and  less reliance on capacity-expanding and very expensive road construction, I see a lot of projects out there that seem to encourage the very sprawl that has contributed to our current economic weakness.

Other voters feel the exact opposite.

So advocates of the tax are currently engaged in a balancing act — trying to offer something for everyone while communicating a veiled threat: if the tax doesn’t pass, no one gets anything.