Atlanta residents on March 6 decided they’d rather pay a penny sales tax than see their already-astronomical water bills approach new heights. Voters in DeKalb County said they’d like to be able to visit the liquor store on Sunday.
Residents approved both local measures on a day when most of the attention was on the Republican presidential primary. Newt Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman who served as Speaker of the House, beat presumptive front-runner and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Atlanta voters were asked to renew the 1 cent sales tax to pay for federally-mandated sewer upgrades. The alternative was seeing water bills jump as much as 30 percent. Atlanta’s water bills already are among the highest in the nation. Voters said “no thanks” to higher bills, and 85 percent of them voted to renew the tax. The tax will generate $750 million.
DeKalb County voters followed the trend in other Georgia counties and cities by allowing businesses to sell package alcohol on Sundays. In DeKalb, 72 percent of the voters supported Sunday sales.