Yesterday, Georgia voters went to the polls and voted on, among other things, whether to impose a new 10-year Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST).
The referenda offered Georgians an opportunity to vote for a one percent regional sales tax to fund transportation improvements in every corner of the state. If it had been approved across all twelve regions, the sales tax would have generated an estimated $18.67 billion over a 10-year period, which represents a significant investment in Georgia’s transportation infrastructure.
Unfortunately, out of the twelve economic development regions, only three, Regions 7, 8 and 9, the Central Savannah River, River Valley and Heart of Georgia regions respectively, passed the referendum. The good news is that these three regions represent an estimated $1.83 billion dollar investment in infrastructure. The bad news is the other nine regions, including the metro Atlanta region, all rejected the plan, leaving a potential $16.8 billion of infrastructure projects unrealized.
Governor Nathan Deal’s office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he would now take a central role in transportation planning for the state’s metro areas, and he would not support a sequel to Tuesday’s referendum.
Only time will tell the future of transportation in Georgia.