Home arrow NewsBreak arrow One Percent TSPLOST Tax Kicks In
One Percent TSPLOST Tax Kicks In
Friday, 04 January 2013

January 4--  The New year brings a new one penny sales tax to shoppers in the 17-county Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.  Last summer voters in the area agreed to pay a penny more in sales tax to finance regional and local road improvements.

If you've been shopping in the area, you may have already noticed the increase.  However, Vidalia Finance Director Bill Bedingfield says he doesn't think the state has been proactive enough getting the word to local merchants.

"Much to my dismay, the state hasn't notified a lot of the merchants.  We've had a lot of them calling us and I've gone to the Department of Revenue website.  Merchants can do that and print off a list telling them the law and telling them to start collecting the extra one percent.  I've printed off a copy and they can call City Hall and we'll try to help them with it," Bedinfield says.

"Actually there's a separate line for this TSPLOST so there will be some additional reporting requirements for merchants," he adds.

State officials estimate the regional sales tax will fund $350 million in road projects over the next ten years.  The project list includes 753 local projects and 11 regional projects.

Bedingfield says he expects the first distribution of funds will start in about 90 days.

"We'll see our first check in March from the TSPLOST.  That's when the first projects should start to move forward.  Obviously, we've got to collect some funds ahead before we start these projects so it will be some months after that before they actually start," he notes.

Todd Long, the Deputy Commissioner with the Georgia Department of Transportation, says many of the local projects don't require a lot of engineering and should be ready to go once adequate funds are accumulated.  It's going to be a steady stream over a ten-year period," he reports. 

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