MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A new penny sales tax is on the ballot this election for 11 counties in Middle Georgia.
The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) is aimed to help fix roads and infrastructure in the community. There are 55 projects slated on the list for Baldwin, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Macon-Bibb, Monroe, Peach, Putnam, Pulaski, Twiggs, and Wilkinson counties.
“This is another tax increase, but I think it’s one well spent,” said Macon Economic Development Commission President, Mike Dyer.
Dyer is confident a new sales tax can help Macon-Bibb county.
“Infrastructure is critically important to any community’s success,” said Dyer. “To one, grow itself for people to want to continue to grow itself to want to come there to live and stay there.”
Dyer thinks TSPLOST is also important for businesses in the community.
“If we don’t improve our infrastructure and keep it up, then it’s going to decline,” said Dyer. “When you decline, you lose citizens, you lose growth, you lose business opportunities, you lose companies relocating.”
Executive Director for the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Laura Mathis, says, the projects on the TSPLOST list are projects that would be on the Georgia Department of Transportation’s waiting list for many years.
“If the sales tax is approved, the match that local governments have to provide to the grants that they receive from the state, that will actually go down from 30% to 10% match,” said Mathis.
75% of the revenue from TSPLOST would go to the projects on the list, but each county would get an additional 25% for other county road projects.
“This penny is well-worth spending to help us both immediately and long term of what we can do to continue to improve our community,” said Dyer.
The penny tax will only pass if votes in all 11 counties total to at least 50%. So, even if it doesn’t pass in one county, if a majority of counties vote in favor of TSPLOST, all counties would adopt the new tax.