The Fulton County Board of Commissioners and eight of the mayors within the county agreed to meet on June 30 to make sure they meet the deadline to get a transportation sales tax extension referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The 13 cities, including Sandy Springs, expected to take part in the new Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST II) are scheduled to submit their project lists to the county by June 15, David Clark, Fulton County’s director of Public Works, said. This tax extension excludes Atlanta, which has its own TSPLOST. 

Sandy Springs plans to make the North End along Rosewll Road more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists with almost $10 million in TPSPLOST revenue. (Sandy Springs)

Clark also said during the Fulton County Board of Commissioners-Fulton Mayors joint meeting on June 4 that submitting the project lists will enable the county to finalize an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the county and cities.

Sandy Springs City Council scheduled its final vote on TSPLOST II projects for its June 15 meeting.

The city was able to add another $4 million to its plans in its top tier of projects after the county provided updated TSPLOST revenue estimates that would give Sandy Springs almost $100 million for transportation projects.

City residents who want to voice their opinions on the proposed transportation projects must file a public comment card by noon on June 15 with the city’s online form. Or they can attend in person at the Studio Theatre in the Performing Arts Center. All in-person public comment cards must be turned in before the meeting officially starts at 6 p.m.

The IGA sets up distribution of the sales tax revenue, which is determined by population. And it sets up administrative costs for administering the tax collection and distribution. 

“Then once we get all the projects list, we will be coming up with an overall map that you can use as part of the education and public involvement processes to show where all the projects are going to be funded,” Clark said. Voters will ultimately vote whether to approve TSPLOST II on the Nov. 2 ballot. 

The cities also recently got welcome news from Clark about April TSPLOST I collections.

“The good news is, the April collections came in over $9.4 million, which actually was the second highest month that we’ve ever collected outside of the month of December. Obviously, December with Christmas, is always traditionally our highest,” Clark said.

He said they project TSPLOST I revenue to reach approximately $508 million. That is almost 90% of the projected estimate of $565 million for all the cities and county. Cities and the county create three tiers of projects. Tier One is a conservative estimate the governing bodies expect to receive and is equivalent to 85% of the TPSLOST revenue they anticipate. City public workers directors have told Clark they are in good shape to fund most Tier One projects.

Tier Two projects bring that total to 100% of projections. If they manage to collect 115% of the taxes they expect, projects listed in Tier Three become possible. 

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis is a freelance journalist based in metro Atlanta.