Crossover day has passed and theoretically a bill that did not pass either the House or the Senate is dead for this session.
In reality it can still be attached in committee or on the floor by amendment and no bill is dead until we adjourn on Day 40.
Locally, I led the effort to defeat SB 251 which would have asked the voters for another half penny tax for MARTA. If Fulton and DeKalb continue to pour more money into MARTA, then the state and other jurisdictions will never get on board. We have legislation to look at regional transit governance and that is a step in the right direction.
I appreciate Senator Emanuel Jones help in getting the other DeKalb senators to sign SB 143 which states if DeKalb County has the 100 percent HOST (property tax relief) and a 1 percent SPLOST (hopefully for just transportation including public transit and public safety facilities), then my original property tax freeze remains in force. We don’t want 10 years of assessment increases on your home.
SB 156 passed the Senate and I appreciate CEO Michael Thurmond working with me. The bill limits where the SPLOST proceeds can be spent (no government center on Memorial Drive); excludes food and prescription drugs from the sales tax (CEO Thurmond’s request); and caps the MARTA tax at 1 percent. Hopefully, this bill will pass the House.
On the other hand if SB 143 does not pass the House through the DeKalb delegation, then we need to repeal SB 156. Otherwise, the property tax freeze can expire. If the House DeKalb delegation does not pass SB 143, then DeKalb will continue to get about $2 million for capital projects versus $60 million plus. CEO Thurmond gets it.
Sometimes being a effective legislator means stopping bad legislation especially when you live in DeKalb. Adjournment is scheduled for March 30 as of now.
Your comments are welcome.
Senator Fran Millar