Augusta Economy

More News | Fort Gordon | Plant Vogtle | Savannah River Site | Editor

Augusta chamber endorses sales and use tax for roads project

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 1:08 PM
Last updated 7:52 PM
  • Follow Government

A penny sales tax could help build up area roads and might set up Augusta to take advantage of an improved port in Savannah, officials said.

At its annual Pre Session Legislative Breakfast today, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce publicly endorsed the 1 percent special district transportation sales and use tax, or T-SPLOST. The tax, which will go before voters in July, would raise $621 million over 10 years to build 80 specified projects in the 13-county area, the chamber said.

The chamber knows it might be a tough sell for some, said Terry Elam, chair of the board of directors.

“It’s not going to be easy and it is going to have to pass on the merits of what it is going to do to improve roads,” he said. Federal funding for roads is going to dwindle so “improvements must come from other sources,” Elam said. In light of the lack of revenues, it “really is a tax that we desperately need,” said state Rep. Barbara Sims, R-Augusta. “Our T-SPLOST is hugely important.”

That is particularly true with the proposed deepening of the port in Savannah, which would open it up more for container ships and potentially set Augusta up as distribution center, she said.

“Let’s be ready for growth,” Sims said.

Not only is federal funding likely to dwindle but communities should not look to the state for the funds to maintain local infrastructure, said Don Grantham, Congressional District 10 representative on the State Transportation Board.

“Their last resort is going to be a property tax increase,” he said. Without the SPLOST funding for those projects, “there is no reason to have a list,” he said.

In other news from the breakfast, University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby said he received a “very sobering” economic forecast for the state recently that predicted true recovery might not come until 2018 or 2020. Nonetheless, he is hopeful the system’s budget request will fare well with Gov. Nathan Deal and with the legislature. Huckaby is also seeking funding to finish a $55 million Education Commons building for Georgia Health Sciences University that will be shared by the Medical College of Georgia and the College of Dental Medicine. The Board of Regents has proposed $28 million in bond funding for the project.

“That’s a very important project,” Huckaby said, and he has had good feedback from the governor’s office on the project.

“I will be very surprised if that is not in his proposed budget,” Huckaby said.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Little Lamb
46872
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/11 - 03:22 pm
0
0
We posters on The Augusta

We posters on The Augusta Chronicle web site must all get prepared to vote NO!!

Little Lamb
46872
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/11 - 03:25 pm
0
0
Terry Elam, chair of the

Terry Elam, chair of the board of directors of the Augusta Chamber of Commerce, said, “It’s not going to be easy and it is going to have to pass on the merits of what it is going to do to improve roads.”

Well, since a very large chunk of money on the list is earmarked for operational costs of the city of Augusta bus system, and since the Augusta bus system will do absolutely nothing to improve roads, you have a sufficient reason right there to vote NO!!

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 12/06/11 - 04:05 pm
0
0
YUP! Little Lamb

YUP! Little Lamb

blues550
380
Points
blues550 12/06/11 - 04:19 pm
0
0
Absolutely...the correct vote
Unpublished

Absolutely...the correct vote is a resounding "NO!" Bad, bad idea.

dichotomy
34336
Points
dichotomy 12/06/11 - 06:16 pm
0
0
NO.......local and state

NO.......local and state officials need to get it through their thick skulls that we the people are taxed out and we do not have money for new taxes or property tax increases. They had better get used to cutting budgets and cutting fraud, waste, and abuse. My guess is that I could find enough fraud and waste between the Procurement Office and the School Board to fund a lot of road repair projects in RC. If we could stop our officials from giving our tax money to rich people to build them buildings and parking lots and then paying them to operate them, we would have a lot more road repair money too. Any of our commissioners or our "legislative delegation" that vote for any kind of tax increase is politically a dead man as far as I am concerned. Sorry to take the fun of slinging the taxpayer's money around like candy at Halloween out of being a representative boys, but the tax well is dry. Time to start trimming some of that fat you've been adding to the government pig for 50 years. The slop trough is dry.

sgachief
0
Points
sgachief 12/06/11 - 10:13 pm
0
0
No, no no no!!!!

No, no no no!!!!

Back to Top

Top headlines

Azziz UNLV president finalist

Ricardo Azziz, who has been mentioned in the past for other open university positions in Florida and Texas, is one of three finalists for the position.
Search Augusta jobs