Georgia County Government - March/April 2012 - (Page 15)
The Transportation Investment Act:
Regional Solution Proposed for Building Transportation Infrastructure
By Dave Wills
t’s an (im)perfect storm: insufficient funding to replace crumbling roads, deteriorating bridges, congested streets and faded pavement markings serving an increasing population, driving ever more fuel efficient vehicles, including gas-electric hybrids and nascent total-electric vehicles. Coupled with the need
to maintain and upgrade Georgia’s ports, airports and transit systems, the gathering storm threatens economic peril unless mitigated by increased revenues from diversified sources. Thus was born the Transportation Investment Act (TIA, 2010) which set in motion regional referendums, scheduled for July 31, 2012, in which voters will decide whether to invest in their future through the imposition of a penny sales tax to pay for transportation improvements in each of their 12 respective regions.
Points to Consider
For decades Georgia enjoyed an excellent transportation system made possible through substantial, sustained investments paid for primarily from motor use fuel taxes (MFT). But, in the last two decades, the level of investment has not adequately funded the maintenance of existing infrastructure or the construction of new facilities required by growth. Figures from 2006 show that Georgia spent just $380 per capita, less than every state except Tennessee ($354), and far less than Texas and Florida at $730 per person for transportation investments (Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan 2010-2030, p. 22).
Project lists for each region were developed by Regional Roundtables based on boundaries of the Regional Commissions. If voters pass the Transportation Investment Act referendum in their region, 75 percent of the funds will be invested into the region to support the projects on the list. The remaining 25 percent (15 percent in Region 3) will be split among counties in the region for local transportation priorities.
THE TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT ACT continued on page 16
MARCH/APRIL 2012 www.accg.org
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