Columbia County chamber, leaders to spread transportation tax info at meeting

Columbia County residents are invited to learn more about the proposed transportation sales tax referendum Tuesday at a town hall meeting in Evans.

The meeting is the second of two Transportation Investment Act meetings put on by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and county leaders.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Columbia County Government Center auditorium on Ronald Reagan Drive.

The referendum, if passed, will provide $621 million during 10 years for the entire region and fund eight Columbia County transportation projects prioritized by leaders last summer, officials said. Those include the extension of River Watch Parkway to Washington Road, widening Lewiston Road and Horizon South Parkway, and improving Robinson Avenue in Grovetown.

The proposed referendum is on the July 31 ballot.

At the first town hall meeting about the tax held last month, chamber President Tammy Shepherd and county Commission Chairman Ron Cross gave presentations, in which they referred to the referendum as a “fair tax program.”

Shepherd also said the proposed projects would improve regional traffic patterns, create thousands of jobs throughout Georgia and attract businesses to the area.

In 10 years, officials expect that $840 million will be collected in the Augusta region. Because that is 25 percent more than the total of the project list, the remaining money will be divvied up between the counties in the region as discretionary funds that leaders can use for additional transportation projects.

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