With early voting underway until election-day on March 19, Gwinnett voters are heading back to the polls, this time to make their voice heard on the following transit question:
Gwinnett County has executed a contract for the provision of transit services, dated as of August 2, 2018. Shall this contract be approved? Yes___ No___
A yes vote ratifies Gwinnett’s pending contract with MARTA and enacts a new one percent county sales tax for transit until 2057 (Gwinnett’s current sales tax is six percent).
Under the contract, billions of new sales tax dollars would fund Gwinnett transit projects over four decades. Initially, about a third of collected funds would be used to fund expansion of a MARTA bus system in Gwinnett and cover maintenance and operation of the overall MARTA system. The rest would be remitted to Gwinnett, which would pay MARTA for other recommended projects, such as building a heavy rail connection from the Doraville MARTA station to a new “multimodal hub” near Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85, expansion of local bus service, bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, new park-and-ride lots and more.
A no vote would continue Gwinnett County Transit operated express and local bus service, keep the county’s sales tax at six percent and would leave the county with “no viable alternative”, according to Commissioner Nash at a recent educational forum. There is no formal opposition to the referendum.
Thanks to funding from an anonymous donor, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta provided three get-out-the-vote grants to reach the general population of voters and also focus on historically low-turnout communities in Gwinnett County, such as Latinos and Muslim Americans.
- Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) Community Development Fund to boost targeted door-to-door canvassing, phone/text bank and mailings
- Georgia Muslim Voter Project to cover outreach materials, staff time and staff travel expenses to increase Georgia Muslim voter turnout
- Gwinnett Transit Education Forum for factually neutral voter education phone calls and postcards