Metro Atlanta voters gave a resounding "no" to the notion of paying an extra penny on every dollar they spend - for the next ten years - to pay for a host of regional transportation projects.
Opponents of the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax - known by the acronym TSPLOST - were downright giddy as the referendum results poured in Tuesday night.
"It's overwhelming that the people of Georgia did the right thing," said Jack Staver of the Transportation Leadership Council, a group that opposed the tax.
Opponents didn't need to spend much money in their campaign to convince people to vote against the plan. They raised less than $15,000 but prevailed nonetheless.
In contrast, supporters of the transportation tax raised nearly $8 million on a campaign called 'Untie Atlanta,' putting up billboards, paying for television advertisements and mailing flyers to potential voters.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a staunch supporter of the tax, addressed a crowd of defeated supporters late Tuesday night.
"All we were trying to do, the people who are in the audience, and the people who are on this stage, was take on a problem that is too big for each of us individually to solve," Reed said.
Reed vowed to continue to push for a regional transportation solution.
"What we need now is a bigger table, a bigger table for our friends who disagreed to us on this occasion," Reed said. "We've got to listen so much harder, so much more intensely, and we have to get at the issue of why so many good, decent, honest women and men don't trust their government enough to take on a big problem."
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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