Georgia Tea Party groups this week called on Governor Nathan Deal to repeal a law that will allow Georgians to vote on a one-cent transportation tax. They’re opposed to it because if the referendum passes, it will create a new tax.

The Tea Party groups say Gov. Deal and other top Republicans signed a pledge opposing any increase in taxes.

And they say Deal has betrayed that pledge by supporting a referendum allowing Georgians to vote on a regional transportation tax.

Noland Cox is a Valdosta tea party supporter. At a rally at the Capitol, he questioned Deal’s support for the vote.

“It is proof that our Governor and most of the lawmakers have lost touch with the people," he said. "It is proof that they want to force us to vote ourselves a tax because they didn’t have the courage to do it.”

Brian Robinson, Deal’s spokesman, says the law permitting the vote passed before the Governor took office. But he says Georgians should have a chance to vote for themselves.

“Every region of the state will get their own little vote," he said in an interview Friday. "Each region can decide if the project list that has been put forward by local officials – not by the Governor, not by the state – is good for their region.”

Individual transportation tax referenda will take place in 12 regions of Georgia in July. Each referendum will be tied to a specific list of transit, infrastructure, highway and sidewalk projects.

Robinson also says there's no other pool of money to pay for the types of transit and infrastructure improvements funded by the tax that would help attract world-class companies to Georgia.

Deal also recently threw his support behind taxing online purchases. Robinson said the Governor is not pushing a new tax but rather seeking to close a loophole on an existing levy.