The ballot asked, “Shall a special 1% sales and use tax be reimposed in the city of Atlanta for a period of time not to exceed 16 calendar quarters (four years) and for the raising of not more than $750 million for the purpose of funding water and sewer costs?”
In the June 9 primary election, with 70.98% of precincts reporting, 88.61% of voters cast “yes” ballots to renew the tax.
The Atlanta Department of Watershed Management states the tax has brought in over $1.8 billion in revenue since October 2004 (it was approved by voters in July 2004), and its “revenue has staved off a 25% increase in water/sewer rates.”
Among the nation’s 50 largest cities, Atlanta already has the highest monthly residential sewer bill (an average of $140) for typical residential water services (7,500 gallons) and the country’s third-highest monthly combined water/sewer bill (just under $200).
District 7 Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook, who represents part of Buckhead, said the tax is crucial to the city.
“This is really the only available way to capture revenue from people who use the system but don’t live here,” he said. “They work here; they shop here; they visit here. They leave their mark and wear and tear on the system but don’t pay into it as the ratepayers do.”
For More Information: The NeighborThe Neighbor
By: Everett Catts
June 10, 2020