Tuesday, July 31, 2012
© Copyright 2015
Gwinnett Daily Post
FIle Photo --
Jerome Copeland votes at Lawrenceville First Baptist Church during the July 31 primary.
Visit our special election section for complete coverage of the 2012 primaries, HERE.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnettians let their opinions be known on a much-debated transportation sales tax, with steady voting at the polls, which closed at 7 p.m.
The issue of whether to impose a 1 percent sales tax to fund a region-wide list of road and transit projects has divided the metro Atlanta area for months but could be put to rest today.
"I think our roads are bad and we need to fix them," Stacy Kenyon of Grayson said after casting her ballot.
But Phil Gaston voted no. "I just don't trust politicians," he said at his Grayson precinct.
Rick Johnson of Lawrenceville agreed, adding that the HOT lane conversion on Interstate 85 directly weighed on his decision.
"Since they took a lane away from us on the interstate, I'm not excited about giving them more money," he said.
Proponents of the tax said that if the issue is voted down leaders could turn to raising the gas tax or more tolls on roads, but Johnson doesn't believe that.
"I think it will lead to more fiscal responsibility," he said of the movement by tea party activists and other groups to convince voters to say no.
But because traffic is a big issue that needs to be solved, Myron Bullock of Lawrenceville said the proposal is the fairest way to fund projects.
"Everybody gets to share the pain," he said after voting yes. "You are going to pay for it one way or the other. This way everyone shares because it's a consumption tax."
Elections Director Lynn Ledford said voting went smoothly throughout Gwinnett, although the turnout appeared to be low.