If you have opinions about transportation and public transit in the county, the deadline to fill out the MSPLOST survey is December 1. There will also be a town hall meeting on November 30 to learn about the MSPLOST
The county distributed the following announcement in its most recent newsletter:
The final town hall for the Mobility Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 30 at Fullers Park Recreation Center, 3499 Robinson Rd., Marietta. Get to know Cobb’s Mobility SPLOST plans and 2050 Comprehensive Transportation Plan and give us your feedback. At the town hall around the county, you can learn:
• How this SPLOST differs from the referendum approved by voters in November 2020
• How each will generate new revenues for the Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
You will receive information on how you can provide input to help shape Cobb MSPLOST options. Your input will be presented to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners for consideration.
You only have until Wednesday, Dec. 1, to fill out the online survey at CobbMSPLOST.org. You can also view one of the previous town hall presentations at this website and also download presentation materials.
Answering key questions about the sales tax and investment options will help determine how funding should be invested for both transit and surface transportation if the county moves forward with one or both referenda options.
About the MSPLOST
Here is the way the Cobb DOT website describes the MSPLOST:
SPLOST (the referendum on the ballot in November 2020) has been a fixture in Cobb County for decades and provides funding to a variety of county agencies for projects, including public safety projects, parks, libraries, and information services/technology as well as transportation.
MSPLOST is very similar but provides dedicated funding for transit and possibly surface transportation projects. In the last few years, Georgia passed House Bill 930 (transit) and House Bill 170 (surface transportation), which gives the county the option to put this dedicated transit/transportation funding source to a vote. HB930 creates the opportunity for a funding source dedicated to transit and House Bill 170 creates the opportunity for a funding source dedicated to surface transportation.
The Cobb DOT describes the options available as follows:
Both House Bills allow for a great deal of flexibility regarding the amount and the duration that money is collected, providing a multitude of possibilities. Specifically, HB930 allows the county to implement up to 1 penny for up to 30 years for transit. Likewise, HB170 allows the county to implement up to 1 penny for up to 5 years for surface transportation projects. So, the options range from ¼ for 1 year to 1 penny for the full duration allowed under each bill. To complicate things further, the county has the option to implement both House Bills with the MSPLOST or a single House Bill.
The primary questions facing the county and its residents at this point include:
- Should the county include both House Bills (transit and surface transportation) in the MSPLOST referendum or go with a transit only option?
- How much of the 1 penny should be included in the referendum?
- How long should the penny sales tax be collected?