MARTA General Manager Beverly Scott told Fulton and DeKalb legislators the transit agency can’t afford to wait until 2012 for Georgians to vote on a transportation funding plan proposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Perdue announced during the first week of this year’s General Assembly session that he would back legislation letting Georgians vote by region whether to raise sales taxes to pay for needed highway and transit projects in their communities.

While that vote would be statewide, the results would be tallied inside each of the state’s 12 regional planning districts. Regions that approve the sales tax increase at the polls would get the additional tax revenue, and nothing would be built in regions where the proposal fails.

Perdue’s proposal calls for the vote in 2012.

That’s not soon enough for MARTA, which faces a $120 million operating shortfall next year, Scott told the two House delegations.