Clayton County Frequently Asked Questions
What is the authority for levying a sales and use tax?
The passage of both HB 1009 and HB 265 created this opportunity for an additional one cent tax to be levied for the purpose of a metropolitan system of public transportation, as authorized by the amendment to the Constitution which created the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Per the law, Clayton could only join MARTA and not contract transit services.
What is the timeline for the vote to be held?
The Clayton County Commissioners signed contract to join MARTA on July 1, 2014 and authorized transit referendum to be placed on the ballot on November 4, 2014 – Election Day.
What do the voters actually vote on?
The question that will be placed on the ballot is set out in the MARTA Act. It will read:
“Clayton County has executed a contract with Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, dated July 1, 2014. Shall this Contract be approved?” Yes or No
The contract itself must be published in the newspaper having general circulation throughout Clayton once a week for the four weeks before the election.
What is the authorized rate of taxation?
The rate of tax for full participation in the Authority is one percent (1%). Of the 159 counties in the state of Georgia, 45 operate with an 8% sales tax. Of those 45 counties, all of themcontribute sales taxes designated to support transportation initiatives of some kind.
When will the tax first start being collected?
The MARTA Act provides that the effective date of the tax shall be the first day of the calendar month which begins more than ninety days after the voters approve the contract which would be March 1, 2015, unless a later date is specified.
Who receives the tax proceeds?
Pursuant to the MARTA Act the tax is collected by the Revenue Commissioner and turned over to the State Treasurer and put directly in a special fund dedicated to MARTA. Per the contract, Clayton County funds will be walled – off from other MARTA funding.
May the tax be used for other transportation projects not associated with the provision of transit services?
No, the tax may be utilized for accessibility improvements to certain areas of roadways over which the system will operate but may not be utilized for unrelated transportation projects.
Will Clayton County have members on the MARTA Board of Directors?
Yes, there will be two members from Clayton County appointed to the Board by the Clayton County Commission. The Board members term begin on January 1, 2015.