Additional sales tax will be added to Cobb County ballot in November

When Cobb County voters go to the polls in November, they'll be asked if they want an additional 1% sales tax. On Tuesday, Cobb County commissioners decided to put a Mobility Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (MSPLOST) on the ballot.

"MSPLOST will provide consistent funding for comprehensive transportation that includes transit, biking, pedestrian, and yes, even car infrastructure," said Matt Stigall at the Cobb County Board of Commissioners meeting. Stigall supports MSPLOST.

Stigall and others say an additional 1% sales tax for an improved transit system would move Cobb County forward.

Others, like Robin Moody, disagree.

"Public transit in Cobb County keeps declining," Moody said. "I don't see how funding more transit is going to make a difference."

The MSPLOST would be for 30 years. That's estimated to add up to more than 10 billion dollars.

The money would be spent on improving and expanding public transit. This includes adding bus routes, paying for operations and maintenance, and technological upgrades such as user apps, trackers and Wi-Fi on buses.

"What it comes down to is, ‘Do we perceive that the future and opportunity are worth it?’" said Chairwoman Lisa Cupid.

Commissioners Keli Gambrill and JoAnn Birrell said they don't support it.

"We're talking about 30 years, and can't support binding boards," Birrell said. "Citizens, grandchildren – they'll be paying that."

County leaders determined it should be left up to the residents. By a vote of 3 to 2 they decided to place it on the November 5 ballot.

"It's time to let our citizens let us know where they stand on this issue," said Chairwoman Cupid.