Johns Creek Waxes Inflammatory in MARTA Half Cent Tax Opposition
(APN) ATLANTA — On Monday, November 16, 2015, the City Council of Johns Creek unanimously passed a resolution opposing any tax increases to pay for MARTA expansion into North Fulton coming through their city.
Both Councilmembers Lenny Zaprowski (Post 1) and Steve Broadbent (Post 6) suggested the resolution be tabled until the next meeting to allow for public comment.
“While public comment would be an interesting exercise, I have no doubt what the results of that public comment would be,” the sponsor of the resolution, Councilman Bob Gray (Post 4), said during the meeting.
“To get to the heart of the issue, residents of Johns Creek have been paying the penny MARTA tax, you know, ever since it was implement,” Broadbent said in an interview with Atlanta Progressive News
“We’ve never had MARTA services up here… and people have been tired for a long time of paying the penny [tax]. That’s the fundamental issue,” Broadbent said.
Mayor Mike Bodker expressed concern about “maintaining our relationship with other parties,” because the resolution is, “potentially inflammatory and, in fact, inaccurate.”
The language of the resolution cites a multitude of problems Johns Creek imagines would follow an expansion of MARTA lines into their city, most notably:
“WHEREAS, the expansion of MARTA would increase the volume of traffic at the most congested intersections,” the resolution states.
“WHEREAS, the expansion of MARTA would increase the volume of traffic through the City of Johns Creek as users of MARTA,” the resolution states.
“WHEREAS, the expansion of MARTA would increase high density housing further increasing traffic, straining the public school system, eroding the residential character of the surrounding areas and reducing property values.”
During the interview, Broadbent noted that 53 percent of traffic in Johns Creek “originates outside of the city and the trip terminates on the other side of the city… extending MARTA up into our area is not going to fix that problem.”
Broadbent also shared that he’s received “a handful, maybe a dozen emails,” from residents who support the expansion of MARTA, and “an equal number, if not more,” from residents supporting the resolution.
Even as Bodker, Zaprowski, and Broadbent raised concerns about the resolution, all made clear that they support the ultimate message of the resolution: no half penny tax for MARTA in Johns Creek.