Atlanta, GA – October 26, 2017: On November 8th , 2016 Atlanta voters approved raising the sales tax to expand MARTA and pay for other transportation improvements. Revenue collected from the sales tax will raise $2.5 billion for MARTA to add more buses, light rail and infill stations and add more than $300 million to city coffers to synchronize traffic signals, fix roads, add bike lanes and pay for other projects. Atlanta’s sales tax is currently 8 percent.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on October 26, 2017 that a political committee set up in 2016 to raise and spend money for the passage of a sales tax increase for transportation improvements is now helping bankroll the re-elections of incumbent Atlanta City Council members loyal to Mayor Kasim Reed.
State law says campaign committees may only spend money for the purpose for which they were created, and directs unused money to be repaid to contributors — or donated to educational, charitable and nonprofit organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
Clearly, diverting public funds intended by Atlanta voters to be used for such purposes as badly needed street and sidewalk improvements, and traffic signal synchronization for the purpose of making campaign contributions to several Atlanta City Council members raises serious legal questions that require a response from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.
Throughout my career of service to the citizens of Atlanta I have never participated in the cronyism and pay to play practices that have been business as usual at city hall under the current administration. If elected mayor, I will clean house at City Hall. Together we will bring total transparency and accountability to city government. All city contracts, the city budget and all city council action will be posted at a public access website.