Senator proposes regional sales taxes for transportation woes

Tue, 01/20/2009 - 4:33pm
By: The Citizen

As transportation projects across the state have been delayed or having their funding cancelled by the Department of Transportation, there is a growing concern about how to bankroll such projects.

State Senator Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, is proposing to allow governments to enter regional agreements to seek Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funding from voters for regional transportation projects.

Mullis’ bill will require ratification by Georgia voters as it is proposed as an amendment to the Georgia Constitution. He is the chairman of the Senate’s transportation committee.

The bill would require county governing authorities to create a “special transportation district” if the tax were to be approved.

The bill also would require the creation of a list of transportation projects to be funded by the SPLOST prior to the referendum being sought. Also, all funds collected must be spent on those listed transportation projects.

Those projects could include roads, freight and passenger rail, bridges, airports, public transportation, buses, seaports and the related infrastructure and services, according to the bill.

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