Mayor, schools at odds over penny
By Nancy Badertscher and Kristina Torres
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reed said the penny — which over nearly 15 years has helped build or renovate 84 city schools or other buildings, among other projects — instead needs to go to a regional transportation plan expected to be put to voters next year.
The penny is in play because it expires next year. Reed doesn’t want the city school system to seek to renew it as voters also consider the transportation tax. If both were to pass, the city would have the state’s highest sales tax at 9 percent and would be at a competitive disadvantage, the mayor said.
“Obviously, I’m very concerned about renewing the 1 percent sales tax in the city [for education] and then adding another penny,” Reed said.
The showdown looms as the city’s school board must decide whether to join with Fulton, DeKalb and the city of Decatur to ask voters to continue using the 1-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax to fund capital needs. The tax started in 1997 and has been renewed twice. The three other systems, which all want the sales tax to continue, cannot seek a referendum to do that without Atlanta schools’ participation.
Click here to read more.