David Connell, CEO and president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, strongly endorsed the proposed regional transportation penny sales tax on Thursday at the Acworth Business Association's monthly luncheon at NorthStar Church.
Connell spoke to an audience of about 100 people, which included local business leaders, Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews and state Rep. Ed Setzler, who opposes the tax. He discussed Cobb's business strategies that are aimed at creating more jobs and boosting the county's competitiveness.
"These are not strategies to use public funding for chamber marketing," he said. "The purpose is to benefit the prosperity of Cobb County and not the Cobb Chamber.”
When asked about his take on the TSPLOST, Connell urged local business leaders to vote in favor of the tax's passage.
"If TSPLOST doesn't pass, it would be the worst thing ever happened to Atlanta," Connell said. "It's definitely going to hurt the economic development and job growth of our county."
State Rep. Ed Setzler, of District 35, shook his head during Connell's TSPLOST endorsement, and told Patch that he "profoundly" opposes the tax.
"It will not solve our traffic problems," Setzler said. "The only thing it does is bringing in more revenue."
Residents of the 10-county metro region will vote on the tax on the July 31 primary and non-partisan ballots. It will be collected for either 10 years or until the expected $8.5 billion in revenues has been collected.
An approved list of regional projects will receive 85 percent of the funding, while 15 percent will be used at the discretion of local governments.
Each of Cobb County's four district commissioners were allotted $34.69 million for their areas.
Of the revenues expected, $689 million is allotted for the proposed Cobb rapid transit system, which officials said will cover construction costs, as well as 10 years of maintenance and operation.
Voters should be registered by July 2 to participate in the July 31 primaries, non-partisan elections, and TSPLOST vote.
For the Nov. 6 general election, which includes voting for president, citizens should be registered by Oct. 9.