By David Tanner
Who’s guarding the henhouse in Georgia? Evidently, it’s a hungry fox.
The people of Atlanta were assured years ago that tolls would be removed from the Georgia 400 once the bonds used to build it were paid off.
But the State Road and Tollway Authority voted in late September to keep the tolls in place for an additional 20 years past the original sunset date in June 2011.
Why would they do this?
Because they can. It’s within their authority.
State officials, including Gov. Sonny Perdue, say the additional toll funding is necessary to pay for a list of 11 capital improvements, including expansion at the I-85/GA 400 interchange.
These officials are playing it up as a “new toll” and “new funding” rather than admit that they are going back on a promise made to the people years ago.
Few would doubt the need for improvements, and few are questioning the state of Georgia’s financial health, but highway users have every right to question the method being used to tax people more to drive on the GA 400. Yes, tolls are taxes and this is a “new tax.” LL