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In a world where nearly every CRE power player in Atlanta is promoting the upcoming TSPLOST vote, State Sen. Chip Rogers(R-Woodstock) is a  lone voice of dissent. In fact, he was onBisnow's Atlanta Future of Transportation Panel  when he told our audience: ?There is a Plan B.?
Chip says money that would be raised through an added penny tax would not solve the congestion (click video for the clip). He doubts the TSPLOST would really end in 10 years, citing Georiga's experience with the GA 400 toll  that was supposed to go away, but never has.
georgia state senator chip rogers republican post properties david stockert marta dr beverly scott hartsfield-jackson atlanta international airport gm louis miller bisnow future transportation atlanta w hotel midtown
Although Chip (here with Post Properties' David Stockert, MARTA's CEO Dr. Beverly Scott  and Hartsfield-Jackson Airport GM Louis Miller) says he supports infrastructure programs, Chip did not elaborate on what projects he supports or how he proposes to pay for them, other than that any funding for transit projects should be voted upon exclusively instead of lumped into a SPLOST. ?We're talking about a project list in Atlanta where  half the money is going to projects that we know are not going to be self sufficient,? he says. ?There's clearly a need for infrastructure; I just don't think this is the right infrastructure.?
Most our other panelists at the W Hotel Midtown issued their support for the TSPLOST (scheduled for a vote on July 31). Prologis' Kent Mason (right) tells our audience of more than 175 that without the funding for these road and transit fixes, Atlanta could  lose more CRE deals. Citing a decision by Tractor Supply to leave metro Atlanta for a  1M SF distribution hub  in Macon, ?I will guarantee you  that the congestion  was one of the components that influenced their decision.? Other companies may follow suit, he warns. ?That could be the  tip of the iceberg if we don't do something about it.?
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Post Properties' David Stockert (who also chairs Citizens For Transportation Mobility) says if the SPLOST fails, Georgia may be forced to a ?price per service? model, which would include ?several-dollars-a-day tolls.? David also countered criticism against the Georgia 400 tolls continuing, saying, ?We paid for the road, but what we got was North Fulton County.?
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Regardless, the vote is projected to be a tight one that will rely on turnout, says Arnall Golden Gregory's Phil Skinner (here with AGG's  Russ Arouh  and  Brooke Dickerson). AGG was one of our valued sponsors of theevent, and Phil was our studious and energetic moderator.
metro chamber commerce bekim haliti tsplost poll citizens transportation mobility chris daniels mccarthy building gary mcgrath bisnow future transportation atlanta w hotel midtown
Metro Chamber of Commerce's Bekim Haliti says recent polling data says the vote is in a dead heat, with 51% for it, and 49% against or undecided. ?The  Tea Party is very, very vocal? against the TSPLOST, Bekim says, pictured here with Citizens for Transportation Mobility's Chris Daniels and McCarthy Building Co's Gary McGrath.