The one percent tax T-SPLOST (Transportation-Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) is one of the best taxes that you will pay in Tattnall County.
This one percent, similar to the sales tax, will once again help fund road and bridge projects, including new paving, resurfacing, and repaving in our county. This one percent that we pay will stay here in our region. Also, this is a fair tax, since we are all users of our roads.
Tattnall County is in the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Region, Region 9, and includes the other counties of Appling, Bleckley, Candler, Dodge, Emanuel, Evans, Jeff Davis, Johnson, Laurens, Montgomery, Telfair, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne, Wheeler, and Wilcox. Region 9 is one of 12 regions in the state of Georgia.
The first T-SPLOST was passed by the voters in our region in 2012, with the tax beginning to be collected in 2013. Tattnall has benefited to the tune of millions of dollars that has kept our tax dollars staying the lowest possible while seeing roads resurfaced and paved that otherwise would probably not have been done...unless an increase in taxes was implemented. Ten years ago, not all regions responded as wisely as we did. Only three of the 12 regions in the state approved the T-SPLOST one percent tax. Weeks later, these regions that did not vote for T-SPLOST wanted to be given another chance with another election. Not so, they were stuck for ten years without this one percent transportation tax being funneled into their county transportation needs.
Before this tax, traditional state transportation funding sources were Georgia motor fuel taxes and available federal funds. These sources have been decreasing for years, and for several reasons. First, since 1982, the fuel efficiency of the average car sold in the U.S. has increased by 55 percent, which means we travel more miles, using less gas. As we buy less gas, gas tax revenues declines. In addition, revenue has not kept up with costs. The federal government hasn't increased its gas tax since 1993, and Georgia hasn't raised its motor fuel excise tax since 1971.
This one percent transportation tax is projected to fund almost seven million dollars in road projects the next ten years in our county, beginning in 2023. Tattnall will be one of the major recipients of this one percent transportation tax.
According to Tattnall County Engineer Dennis Odom, the following projects are among those that have been paid by the T-SPLOST tax, with the total of these amounting to over six million dollars:
•Dennis Oliver Road, paving, $467,500, completed in 2014
•Raymond Bland Road, resurfacing, $555,896, completed in 2014
•Bubba Kennedy Road, resurfacing, $820,108, completed in 2016
•Lynntown Road, resurfacing, $1,717,691, completed in 2016
•Hillview Road, resurfacing, $1,072,133, completed in 2020
•Cyril P. Burkhalter Road/Milefield Road, $895,404, to be let in May 2022
•Airport Road, realignment/paving, $600,850, to be let in May 2022
Projects scheduled with the approval of renewal of the one percent transportation tax in the upcoming May 24 election include projects on Baxter-Durrence Road, Harmony Church Road, Love's Chapel Road, Anderson Church Road, and several other projects, such as connector roads, with these totaling $6.98 million.
The TIA (Transportation Investment Act) funding is divided so that 75 percent of the region's TIA proceeds is used to fund all projects on the region's final project list as approved by that region's roundtable; GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) is responsible for the delivery of these projects. Also, 25 percent of a region's TIA proceeds is divided among all local governments within the region based on the current "LARP (Local Assistance Road Program) Formula." These discretionary funds may be used for any transportation project, and they are selected and delivered solely by the local government.
Another huge plus for being a county in regions that passed the T-SPLOST ten years ago is that these counties receive a LMIG (Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant) match reduction to 10 percent instead of the 30 percent of those counties in other regions that did not pass the T-SPLOST in 2012; the counties in these other nine regions will continue to pay the 30 percent match on projects unless they pass the T-SPLOST in the May 24, 2022, election.
This tax will be in effect, if renewed on the ballot of May 24 for the next ten years, a plus for all Tattnall Countians. The item as it will appear on the ballot was printed in the February 10 edition of The Journal Sentinel. Vote "YES" on May 24 for the renewal of T-SPLOST, a huge benefit for our county and this region, allowing more resurfacing and paving while not coming from our property taxes.