ATLANTA (January 29, 2013) – Sen. John Albers (R- Roswell) today introduced Senate Bill 73 to reduce the financial burden on local governments who failed to pass the Transportation Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (TSPLOST) referendum. If passed, this legislation will effectively remove the TSPLOST “penalty provision,” which requires local governments who rejected the TSPLOST to pay more for transportation grants.
“Taxing any one part of Georgia simply because they did not pass a tax increase is un-American, said Sen. Albers. “This is unfortunately the case for 113 counties across the state that voted against the TSPLOST tax.”
Prior to Sen. Albers’ election to the Georgia Senate, the General Assembly passed the Transportation Investment Act in 2010. The Transportation Investment Act (TIA) authorized the establishment of 12 special transportation districts to oversee the development, implementation and oversight of various transportation-related projects throughout the state. In addition, the TIA provided the mechanism that authorized counties in each region to hold a transportation referendum.
Out of the 12 designated regions, only three passed the TSPLOST during the July 31, 2012 referendum. These regions are made up of 46 counties which include the River Valley, Heart of Georgia, and the Central Savannah River Regions.
If voters in a region failed to pass the referendum, every local government must now provide a 30 percent match to receive any Local Maintenance and Improvement Grants. For the regions that passed the TSPLOST, local governments are only required to provide a 10 percent match rate to receive these same grants.
“During these challenging economic times, it is critical that regions across Georgia are given a level playing field when it comes to transportation funding. “Penalizing taxpayers for saying “no” to a tax increase sets an erroneous precedent for the future, especially as regions across Georgia –particularly Metro-Atlanta and the surrounding areas –need long-term transportation investments and improvements.” I remain committed to finding solutions to our traffic and transportation needs in Georgia.”
Senate Bill 73 is currently waiting to be assigned to a Committee.
For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2013
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist