1. It Helps Set MARTA Up for Privatization. The TIA does not fund MARTA operations, and does not explicitly oppose privatization. Without funding, MARTA will continue to go broke. Those who would privatize MARTA need the transit agency to be in a dire financial crisis –which the TIA helps create via the denial of funding- in order to persuade the public to privatize –which the TIA implicitly supports. Privatization is bad for everyone.
2. The TIA creates incentives for counties NOT to join MARTA. It seems unlikely that a suburban/exurban county will vote to pay another 1 cent sales tax AFTER they’ve struggled to implement the TIA’s penny tax. This incentivizes counties not to fund MARTA, which helps push MARTA toward the financial crisis necessary to privatize.
3. You Get More for Your Penny By Joining MARTA. For one penny, the TIA can only provide small, disconnected projects that do not amount to a seamless, integrated regional transit system. For that same penny, counties that join MARTA would get county-wide transit service that would help create a truly seamless, integrated, regional transit system. Why would a county pay more for less service? Racism is a likely factor.
4. MARTA is a real job creator, the TIA isn’t. At best, the TIA would create just a few short term jobs, and even fewer long term jobs. However, if counties joined MARTA instead, this would demand the creation of hundreds or thousands of long term jobs that the TIA could never hope to generate. A seamlessly integrated regional transit system like MARTA would require workers to build, operate, and maintain the transit system. These workers would use their incomes for purchases that would stimulate demand, which would stimulate local economies.
5. The TIA is racist. The TIA requires the mostly black residents of Atlanta, Fulton, and Dekalb to pay double what mostly white suburban and exurban counties pay. That’s not fair! Additionally, the project list benefits mostly white counties more than black central city residents.
6. The TIA represents Cheese in a Mouse Trap. The supporters of the TIA are using the few dollars they’ve allotted for MARTA capital as bait to win the support of Atlanta, Fulton and Dekalb residents. However, once the deal is done, MARTA will be trapped in a cycle of under-funding that will lead to privatization. Privatization reduces service; destroys accountability; and deteriorates wages and working conditions for MARTA employees.
Say No To the TIA! Call the Atlanta Public Sector Alliance for more info: 404-401-8817