Georgians in just a few weeks will head to the polls to vote on a transportation referendum.
It is supposed to help ease traffic congestion. Voting "yes" means everyone in the 10-county region around metro Atlanta would pay an additional 1 percent in sales tax.
Some critics worry the money won't go where it's supposed to.
Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party said politicians could divert money toward their own pet projects.
"We don't trust our elected officials," Dooley said.
There are not enough checks and balances to make sure the money goes where it's supposed to, Dooley said.
"We don't trust them to do the projects," Dooley said.
Voters on July 31 will get to decide whether they want to tack a 1-percent tax onto all sales around metro Atlanta that would raise more than $6 billion to fund improvements on the region's transportation systems.
Supporters of the tax say the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or T-SPLOST would fix the crumbling transportation infrastructure, reduce congestion, connect communities and improve the flow of business.
Baruch Feigenbaum, a senior fellow with the nonpartisan Georgia Public Policy Foundation, said that while the initiative would have checks and balances in place, it contains some glaring loopholes.
"The projects are limited to just what is on that pre-approved list for regional projects," Feigenbaum said.
The problem arises, however, on the local level because a number of cities have not listed what they would use the money for.
When asked how easy it would be for local politicians to divert funds, Feigenbaum responded "if those lists are not made, it would be very easy because there is no proof of what was there."
Gov. Deal has said he supports the measure. Brian Robinson, the governor's deputy chief of staff, said money allotted for a project must be spent solely on that.
"It's written in the law. It's not a matter of discretion," Robinson said. "The money has to go for that purpose. You can look and see how the money is going to be spent almost to the dollar. There is no person who can divert money to other projects."
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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