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Georgia university forecasts larger sales tax receipt shortfall for MARTA


The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) already is facing a projected $1.2 billion sales tax revenue shortfall during the next decade and stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars more if the region and state don’t provide a new dedicated and reliable source of transit funding, according to a recent economic analysis report from the Georgia State University Economic Forecasting Center.

MARTA’s sales tax receipts will drop an additional $10.8 million in fiscal-year 2010 on top of a previously forecasted $74.3 million sales tax decline, the report states. During the next 10 years, the agency’s sales tax receipts are projected to decline an additional $232.1 million — “a devastating loss that would seriously impair MARTA's ability to provide rail and bus service,” according to the forecasting center.  The university does not anticipate an uptick in sales tax revenue until 2012.

"Unfortunately, we've continued to see a decline in sales tax revenue since the last forecast six months ago," said MARTA General Manager Beverly Scott in a prepared statement. "This new economic report shows our region's transit future is in serious jeopardy unless the region and the state take urgent action. Current MARTA transit service levels cannot be sustained under the current funding structure."

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More News from 8/13/2009