T-SPLOST Generates Transportation Dollars

It's called a T-SPLOST or Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Georgia voters decide July 31 whether they want to raise their sales tax to pay for transportation projects.

The T-SPLOST is a one-cent tax that would be levied for 10 years in areas that approve it during the July 31 referendum.

In Georgia, there are 12 Regional Development Commissions, and each commission has transportation projects for its area.

The Middle Georgia Regional Development Commission is located in Macon. It covers 11 counties and 22 towns. Those counties are Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Twiggs and Wilkinson.

Voters in each development commission area decide the tax issue July 31. The majority vote throughout each commission district determines the outcome.

Officials project the tax would generate $553,657,352 in the Middle Georgia region. Officials say the tax is needed to pay for roadway expansions, roadway operations and maintenance, freight rail, aviation, bike and pedestrian areas and transit projects.

Elected officials and community leaders in each county decided which projects would be included on their lists. The Middle Georgia Commission list has 76 projects, including a three-phase widening of Bass Road in Bibb County.

One part of the project calls for widening Bass Road from Interstate 75 to Zebulon Road. That's projected to cost $49.9 million. It's designed to ease traffic in the rapidly growing area.

Another part of the Bass Road project calls for widening the road from New Forsyth Road to Riverside Drive. That's projected to cost $4.4 million.

Other area projects would include widening State Road 96 from Interstate 75 in Peach County to Lake Joy Road in Houston County. That's projected to cost $11.4 million.

AnotherHouston County project calls for widening part of Houston Lake Road. Projected cost is $20 million.

But T-SPLOST has a price tags. For example, a 2013 Ford Mustang listed at $37,575 would cost the buyer an additional $375 in sales tax.

Other Central Georgia counties outside the Middle Georgia Regional Development Commission area have their own districts and projects.

People living in Laurens, Dodge, Bleckley and five other counties are in the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Region. The state Department of Transportation says their plans include widening Hillcrest Parkway in Laurens County for about $24 million.

A new bridge over the Oconee River in Laurens would cost about $15 million and a Northwest Eastman Bypas in Dodge is estimated to cost $8.5 million.

The transportation department says it has about $300 million worth of projects on tap for that region.

Hancock and Washington counties are in the Central Savannah River Region. Taylor, Macon and Dooly are in the River Region. All those districts have their own project lists.

VIEW:List of the Districts and Projects

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