Will the transportation sales tax pass next year in coastal Georgia?

The 1% sales tax for transportation infrastructure will go before Georgia voters in 12 regional districts in 2012.

The current plan has the vote being held at the same time as the primaries, which would in theory attract more Republican voters (since Obama is not being contested) and possibly make the regional taxes — routinely called TSPLOST (transportation special purpose local option sales tax) — more likely to be defeated. But there’s still some talk about moving the votes to the 2012 general election. I’m not making anymore predictions on whether it will be moved or not since I keep getting it wrong.

I devoted most of my City Talk column yesterday to the prospects of local passage of the so-called TSPLOST: Overwhelming vote for education sales tax bodes well for transportation proposal.

You can check out the coastal Georgia project list here.

There are good reasons to argue that TSPLOST will lose even though its education sales tax cousin passed easily: the transportation tax would be a new tax, not a continuation of an existing one; the cumulative effect of additional taxes makes future sales tax votes harder to win; there are widespread objections to some of the items on the final approved list; voters in outlying areas might vote heavily against the projects since so much more money is going to more populous counties (as it should); and so forth.

Still, I’m thinking TSPLOST has a pretty good chance of passing.

For some additional thoughts and arguments, check out these posts and lengthy comment threads at Peach Pundit: Does ESPLOST Passage Help Next Year’s TSPLOST? and Atlanta TSPLOST On Track To Be Roadkill.