Georgia transportation special purpose local option sales tax

By December 16, 2017Sales Tax

Georgia transportation special purpose local option sales tax
Seventy-five percent of the transportation sales tax proceeds would be used to pay for the current list of projects. The remaining 25 percent, roughly $159 million, would be divided up by local governments for officials there to decide how best to use on transportation investments, said Laura Mathis, executive director of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission.
Some of the highest estimated cost projects are:

  • Macon-Bibb County: $30 million for a Sardis Church Road extension to Interstate 16.;
  • Houston County: a $36.7 million widening of U.S. 41/Ga. 11 from Ga. 96 to Ga. 247;
  • Baldwin County: $11 million Log Cabin Road widening;
  • Crawford County: $6 million for passing lanes on U.S. 80 east;
  • Jones County: $6 million for Henderson Road resurfacing.

There’s been a different vibe in this year’s T-SPLOST roundtable meetings compared to 2012 when the measure failed to pass, Mathis said.
At that time, the majority of voters in Houston, Putnam, Monroe and Twiggs counties opposed the measures. But with local leaders having more flexibility this year because the proposal was not mandated by state law, the discussions moved at a pace in which the government representatives felt comfortable, Mathis said.
“I think they really focused on having really good, solid projects on the list,” she said. “(There was a) collaborative, cooperative understanding of the needs of communities being different, but also being sure that each community has something that fits them.”
River Valley T-SPLOST
One of the regions that did pass the T-SPLOST referendum in 2012 was the 16-county area that includes Columbus-Muscogee County.
The T-SPLOST revenues over the first five years have come in about 17 percent lower than projected, but each of the 23 projects on the initial list will be completed, said Patti Cullen, executive director of the River Valley Regional Commission.
Thus far, four road projects from the list, including a $30-million widening of U.S. 27, have been finished, and construction is underway on eight other ones, Cullen said.
“I definitely think it’s been a success,” Cullen said. “Even though we had counties that didn’t have a project (on the list), because they were able to get 25 percent, they were able to resurface roads in their counties and get some equipment they needed.”
At a recent Macon-Bibb County Commission meeting, Commissioner Al Tillman warned officials that they must do a better job of communicating the benefits of the tax to the public. In 2012, there was pushback from the NAACP, among others, about the tax that may have led to its downfall, he said.
Georgia transportation special purpose local option sales tax

Ansari Law Firm

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