LAWRENCEVILLE -- Foes of a proposed transportation sales tax said they expect Gwinnett to play a big role in the defeat of the July referendum.
Ron Williams, a Gwinnett resident who co-founded of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance, said he believes his neighbors have become "skeptical" of transportation officials since the so-called HOT lanes opened along Interstate 85 last year.
"The No. 1 cause of traffic congestion in Gwinnett has been road construction," Williams said on Tuesday, when the Alliance announced a campaign against the 1-percent regional tax, which will be on ballots July 31.
Last year, leaders created a project list for the $7 billion the tax is expected to bring in, and a coalition of business and civic leaders have begun a multi-million dollar campaign to encourage its passage.
James Bell, another co-founder of the alliance, said the money advantage will make the campaign against the tax difficult, but he expects the grassroots effort to win out.
"The opposition to the transportation tax is growing," he said. "Even lawmakers who supported the tax have now come out opposing it."
The key, he said, is getting people to turn out during the primary election. To that end, activists plan to use social networks, attend public meetings, write editorial letters and hold public demonstrations against the 10-year tax.
"If you stay home and do not vote it is a vote in favor of the tax," Bell said.
For the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance's take on the issue, visit its blog at www.TSPLOST.info.