T-SPLOST presentation made to small audience

The first of two meetings about the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that will be a question on the May 22 ballot was not well attended, but Jones County and Gray residents have a second chance to have any questions answered. 

Advertising for the April 19 meeting held at the W.E. Knox Civic Center appeared to have fallen through the cracks, but the Executive Director of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Laura Mathis, went through the entire presentation despite the small crowd. 

The next informational T-SPLOST meeting is slated for May 3, 6:30 p.m., again at the W.E. Knox Civic Center, and it is hoped that more interested voters will attend. 

If approved, the T-SPLOST would add a one-cent sales tax on most purchases, which would translate into more than $500 million for Middle Georgia regional transportation projects and approximately $25 million funding for Jones County transportation projects, including projects on the regional investment list and Jones County and Gray’s local share. 

The addition of the one-cent tax would bring Jones County’s total local sales tax to 8 percent. 

The director said, with the passage of the sales tax, every local government in Middle Georgia would have a new revenue stream for transportation projects, and cities and counties would also benefit with a reduced local match for Georgia Department of Transportation projects from 30 percent to 10 percent.

The beginning date for the collection of the T-SPLOST would be Oct. 1, and it would be collected for 10 years. The regional investment list would receive 75 percent of the total collections, and the local share would come from the remaining 25 percent.

Mathis explained that a rail spur at Griswoldville Park was on the list of large scale projects for the region and additional projects on the regional list for Jones County, including two bridge replacements, brings the local investment total to more than $13 million. 

If the sales tax is approved, Jones County would receive an additional $11.9 million to be spent at its discretion for local transportation projects and the City of Gray would receive $776,000. The split for the local share is based on road mileage and population. 

The first vote for the regional T-SPLOST took place in 2012. It passed in three regions in the state but not in Middle Georgia.  

The Middle Georgia counties included are Baldwin, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Macon-Bibb, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Twiggs and Wilkinson. 

Mathis explained that votes for the May 22 T-SPLOST would be tallied at the regional level, not the individual number of counties that approve the sales tax. 

More information about the T-SPLOST, including a breakdown and an interactive map of the projects, may be found at www.middlegeorgiarc.org/regional-transportation-sales-tax.

–– Debbie Lurie-Smith | debbie@jcnews.com

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The Jones County News

P.O. Box 1538
Gray, GA 31032
(478) 986-3929

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