Georgia Sales Tax Increase to Fund Transportation Projects, Referendum 1 (July 2012)

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Sales Tax for Transportation Amendment
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Georgia Constitution
Referred by:Georgia State Legislature
Status:On the ballot
A Sales Tax Increase to Fund Transportation Projects will be on the July 31, 2012 primary statewide ballot in Georgia as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.[1]

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue pushed for the plan, which would increase the sales tax in Georgia by one-cent. In a news conference in January 2010 he described his proposal as "the ultimate democratic referendum on investing in transportation".[2] As of 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal currently serves as the state's governor.


On Tuesday, February 7, 2012, the Georgia House of Representatives introduced HB 938, co-sponsored by Representative Matthew Ramsey. If enacted, the bill would void the sales tax referendum, and instead, place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot asking voters whether or not regional sales taxes for transportation purposes should be authorized. The bill then outlines a plan under which any two or more counties contiguous to each other could draft a transportation sales tax proposal, which would then be put to the voters in each county as a referendum.[3]


The state chamber of commerce, backed by local chambers, is a major driver in the effort to pass the measure, saying it is an opportunity for economic development.[4] Some other arguments given for the measure include:

  • Necessary due to decreased funding to the state Department of Transportation.[4]
  • Shares responsibility for transportation projects with local level of government. [4]


Tea Party members in the state sent a letter to Governor Nathan Deal expressing disapproval of the proposition, denouncing it as "the largest tax hike in state history." [4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Georgia Constitution

A proposed constitutional amendment in Georgia must be approved by 2/3rds of the membership of each chamber of the Georgia State Legislature before going to the state's voters.

The measure was signed by the governor on June 2, 2010 moving it to the July 2012 statewide ballot.[5][6]


The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:

Event Date Developments
Introduction Jan. 2010 Gov. Sonny Perdue , in a news conference, described proposal as "the ultimate democratic referendum on investing in transportation."
Signed Jun. 2, 2010 Governor signed measure for ballot access after legislative approval.

See also


Additional reading