To the editor:
The Atlanta City Council voted July 20 to conduct still another study of the Peachtree streetcar, which creates a special tax district for the property owners on Peachtree and property owners within a quarter-mile on either side of Peachtree. This would significantly increase the taxes for a small segment of the taxpayers by 3 to 4 mils, or 30 percent to 40 percent of the city’s current tax rate of 10.12 mils.
In addition to this special tax district that will generate $450 million annually, the city is planning to issue bonds totaling $150 million and private donations of $50 million. Finally, the city is anticipating state and federal assistance of $295 million. These are the various funding sources that the city of Atlanta is projecting for the funding of the $1 billion cost of the Peachtree streetcar corridor project.
The Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation is strongly opposed to the streetcar project for the following reasons:
• It is taxation without representation, with the streetcars proposed to extend from Midtown to Fort McPherson, with a spur on Auburn Avenue and a 2.4-mile downtown loop.
• To accommodate the streetcar, one and possibly two of the current automobile lanes would have to be closed.
• MARTA buses now run along Peachtree every 20 minutes during peak hours, with the recent addition of the Peach Bus, which runs directly from Buckhead to downtown. The buses are never crowded, southbound or northbound.
Residents of Atlanta are urged to call or e-mail their City Council representatives to voice opposition to this waste of taxpayer dollars.
John Sherman, president
Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation