NORCROSS -- Officials held a public forum Thursday to discuss the upcoming vote on the regional Transportation Investment Act and the proposal itself, which one panel member called "one of the most important pieces of legislation we've had in the state of Georgia in quite some time."
Essentially, the TIA will give 10 counties in the metro Atlanta region -- including Gwinnett -- the ability to vote in July on whether or not to accept a 1 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects over a 10-year period. If passed, it's estimated to generate close to $7 billion in tax revenue.
Thursday's forum hosted by the Partnership for Southern Equity discussed the bill's potential impact on Gwinnett, which would be scheduled to receive roughly $700 million for transportation projects.
Officials and community members on the event's panel expressed their support for the TIA, while also preaching public involvement and dialogue.
"As a region, we are way, way behind (in transportation)," said Jann Moore, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's senior director of public policy and education.
Herman Pennamon, representing the Gwinnett Unity Group, called its passing "imperative" and dubbed it "one of the most important pieces of legislation we've had in the state of Georgia in a long time."
If passed, 15 percent of funds raised in the region will also be returned to each jurisdiction to use on transportation projects they identify. Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson said those potential local projects would be well-vetted.
"We are working now with all the CIDs and all the cities and the county to develop those projects," he said.