First signs of opposition to MARTA expansion into Gwinnett County

Neighbors got a chance to ask questions and learn more about the plans Wednesday. But not everyone is in favor of the penny sales tax that would make it possible.

“My main concern right now is there's no disclosure that this is going to be a tax. On the ballot, it doesn't say anything about a tax. It's blatantly dishonest,” said political activist Joe Newton. “This is going to be an astronomical amount of money to do very little.”

The pro-penny sales tax backers in Gwinnett County are well-funded and organized. They already have a website and social media up and running and could spend north of $1 million to get out the vote. 

Ciana Moore said she wants added service but is wary of extra costs.

“The expansion needs to happen, especially in Gwinnett. The traffic going this way is really ridiculous and something needs to happen,” Moore said.

The plan would raise the sales tax by a penny to bring in an estimated $5.5 billion over the next 30 years. MARTA would run Gwinnett County buses, expand rapid bus service and eventually add rail lines into the heart of the county.

Newton is working with anyone who will join his fight to defeat the upcoming March 19 referendum.

Early voting for the historic referendum starts Feb. 25.

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