I’m going to suggest that any voter interested in taxation and in transportation infrastructure take a look at Mary Mayle’s piece today in the SMN: Georgia’s transportation system ‘running out of gas’
The Georgia legislature a couple of years ago, working with then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, balked at expanding taxes to pay for the state’s transportation needs/desires, so created 12 regions in the state, each of which would come up with its own list of projects and each of which would hold a vote — scheduled for July 31st, 2012 — to see if that region would add another 1% to the sales tax. (The tax is being referred to routinely as T-Splost because of its similarity to other special purpose local option sales taxes.)
I really have no idea how this will play out. Obviously, various anti-tax forces will come out in opposition, but local governments and chambers of commerce are likely to lobby hard for approval. As noted in the SMN piece today, there really is no plan B. Yes, there will continue to be some Georgia Department of Transportation funding, but it’s inadequate for all the projects proposed in the state and regions that reject the extra 1% tax might find it politically hard to lobby for additional state funds.
The SMN piece today includes all the projects proposed for Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan counties. Click here for a more detailed list of how much would be spent — and when — on the projects in Chatham County.
With the vote now less than 4 months away, I hope the public debate about this will get rolling in earnest.