By Ed Williams
MARTA’S illegal sales tax extension is headed to the Supreme Court. A notice of appeal was filed on Aug. 26 in Fulton County Superior Court: Edward Williams v. MARTA.
The primary causes of action raised in this complaint concern the unlawful extension of sales taxes without a referendum with regards to the 5th, 8th, 11th, and 12thamendments of the MARTA 1971 Rapid Transit Contract Assistance and Agreement (RTCAA).
MARTA and the local jurisdictions did not have the legal authority to levy a sales tax without a referendum.
The original terms of the RTCAA in which the voters approved was to expire on August 31, 2021, however MARTA extended the contract and sales taxes to 2057 without any referendums. In the State of Georgia, in order for a local sales tax to be levied a referendum must be approved by the voters of the local jurisdiction.
It should be the goal of MARTA to plan for a new referendum for the next presidential general election, November 2020, and to work with community groups in local jurisdictions to establish a new and updated project list with a transit contract that has better terms similar to what was proposed for Gwinnett County in 2018.
The new contract should be taxpayer-centered where tesidents have a say on approving substantial changes and what will be added to the project list and engineering report. The new contract should not be extended, amended or the sales tax increased or extended without voter consent.
MARTA has neglected residents of South DeKalb in terms of rapid transit. MARTA has used our sales tax money without having to account to anyone. The 1971 contract was not meant to be forever.