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Speak Out: Should the Ga. 400 Tolls Come Down?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

A Roswell man is hoping to inspire a grassroots effort to get rid of the Ga. 400 tolls that were extended two years ago by the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA), reports Channel 2.

Officially completed in 1993, the Ga. 400 tolls were supposed to end in 2011, but the SRTA voted to extend them until 2020. Now Roswell resident Garland Favorito wants Gov. Nathan Deal to make good on a promise to bring down the "Buckhead Wall" and end the toll, which he said now pays for projects other than Ga. 400, as previously reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution's PolitiFact.

The AJC reports that Favorito will hold a press conference in July to deliver a petition to the governor.

Speak Out: How do you feel about the tolls? Should they come down?

jm June 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I understand that this was a contract between DOT and the GA public that was broken, and so from a legal sense I think this should be repealed. But to not pay for roads makes no sense, and 50c each way ($1/day per commuter) is really not much to ask. Seriously, the people who use this road are the ones paying the toll, and that's how it should be. To remove the tax means that residents from parts of GA that get no benefits from GA400 (like Savannah) are paying for the road, and that's even more unfair. I'd prefer to see more roads, not less paid for in this manner.
Byron Robinson June 27, 2012 at 12:13 PM
I agree with jm. The pay-as-you-go toll makes the most sense to me. Those who benefit from the use of 400 should pay for more of the cost. If not, users from all over the state will have to pay more in the form gas taxes and other non automobile related taxes to cover maintenance and improvement costs on 400. A recent Brookings Institue study showed that approximately 40 percent of road maintenance and constuction costs are paid for by non-automobile related taxes. I call for more tolls to more accurately reflect the true costs of driving on a particular road. If you don't want to pay for the road, don't use it...just don't make the rest of us pay for it.
Randy Ward June 27, 2012 at 01:08 PM
The original GA 400 extension proposals were vetted extensively with very mixed feedback on public support with the addition of a toll to finance the project. I extended my support only when assurances were made, laws were revised, and systems enacted that would require the dissolution of the toll when all the bonds were paid in full as well as assuring funds would only be used for bond payments. It made very good sense to me that the individuals using the road would pay for the construction over time. So with the actions and promises of the politicians and community leaders my vote was cast along with a very high percentage of the populace to support the project. I have paid thousands of my hard earned dollars in non-deductable tax/tolls over the years on GA 400 tolls. After the GA 400 bonds were retired the local politicians decided that revenue stream was far too lucrative to let go. Next the assurances, promises, and laws were thrown out in order to keep that revenue stream alive to provide money to use at the whim of our leaders. MY MONEY! I know the TSplost funded transportation plan is a good idea. I know the greater Atlanta area will benefit from the improvements. I know the special tax will only be collected for ten years then forever suspended. I know all this but it is MY VOTE. Fool me once…..
Richard Arena June 27, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Northbound morning rush traffic on 400 is heavy - a good indication that a sizable portion of those using the road come from somewhere other than north of the Hootch. But that's a minor matter. The real issue is one of principle. The State of Georgia made and broke a promise to discontinue the toll when the bond for the section of 400 from I-85 to I-285 was paid off. The State is also violating the requirement that GA400 toll money is to be used exclusively for that portion of the road. So, the vote on T-SPLOST will answer whether taxpayers/voters are going to continue to let politicians get away with this kind of dishonesty deceitfulness, and disrespect. You see, the legislature intentionally built a huge loophole into the T-SPLOST Act that will allow the state to do same thing with the 1% transportation tax. The fact is, because a sizable chuck of T-SPLOST funding is earmarked for Maintenance & Operations, if the tax passes we are locked into those expenses and will have little choice but to extend the tax indefinitely.
Jake Lilley June 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I am surprised to find consensus on this thread. I happen to agree with Jim and Byron Robinson 100%, so I will copy and paste his response as my own. Properly, cited, of course! However, I don't want to downplay the fact that GA legislators broke their promise of removing the toll once the road was paid for. Unfortunately, the violation of trust between the government and the governed is chronic. It should not be overlooked, or forgotten. "I agree with Jim. The pay-as-you-go toll makes the most sense to me. Those who benefit from the use of 400 should pay for more of the cost. If not, users from all over the state will have to pay more in the form gas taxes and other non automobile related taxes to cover maintenance and improvement costs on 400. A recent Brookings Institute study showed that approximately 40 percent of road maintenance and construction costs are paid for by non-automobile related taxes. I call for more tolls to more accurately reflect the true costs of driving on a particular road. If you don't want to pay for the road, don't use it...just don't make the rest of us pay for it." ~ Byron Robinson
Dan June 27, 2012 at 06:44 PM
So what I'm hearing is that, because of the lies and deceit that went into the extension of the tax on GA400, you should vote Yes on T-SPLOST only if you agree a) that the project list is worth the 1% tax and, b) that you'll pay that tax forever.
Jake Lilley June 27, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Tolls represent use fees. Tolls directly associate payment with the road that was used. In contrast, T-SPLOST proposes to tax toilet paper, toothpaste and garden hoses to pay for trains, buses and roads.
jm June 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I'll comment on your part B. YES. I'll vote for a 50c tax/toll on GA400 forever because maintenance of that road needs to occur forever. Bridges and tar wear out. Congestion increases and needs to be addressed. New development requires new interchanges. Expansion of MARTA increases opportunities of interconnectivity - park/ride as well as car/rail transfers like the relatively new connection at North Springs station. And throw some money at the HERO units and traffic enforcement efforts while we're at it. That's all worth $1 a day to me. FOREVER.

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