Two Georgia counties to decide on transportation tax
October 7, 2020
Voters in two Georgia counties will decide next month whether to approve a transportation tax to cover improvements.
Ballots in Gwinnett and Effingham counties will include a question asking voters whether to implement a transportation special purpose local option sales tax, or TSPLOST.
Of the 159 counties throughout the state, 93 counties have passed a transportation sales tax.
Voters in the Atlanta area’s largest suburban county will decide on a question that is intended to help reduce congestion. If approved, a 1-cent sales tax would be collected for transit improvements.
Projects would include expansion of Gwinnett County Transit’s bus system. Seven arterial rapid transit lines and 22 local bus lines would be added.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s heavy rail system also would be extended into the county. The transit agency that serves Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties would extend the heavy rail system from Doraville north along Interstate 85.
The estimated cost of the project is $1.455 billion.
The countywide one-cent tax would be collected starting April 1, 2021. The tax is estimated to raise $12.1 billion over 30 years.
Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties in the Atlanta area already collect a penny sales tax to reduce congestion by bolstering transit. The city of Atlanta collects another one-half-cent sales tax.
Ballots in Effingham County also will include a question to benefit transportation work.
Voters in the county located directly north of Savannah will decide whether to authorize collection of a penny-per-dollar sales tax. The tax is estimated to raise $45 million over five years.
Tax revenue could only be applied for transportation improvements, such as roads, bridges, sidewalks, bicycle paths and other transportation-related purposes.
Projects that would benefit from the tax would be determined based on urgency and necessity. A countywide study would be done to select future projects.
Collection of the tax would begin in April 2021 and end by March 2026. Voters could decide to renew the tax for an additional five years. LL
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