Cagle: Transportation sales tax could pass

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ATLANTA --- A local sales tax for roads and commuter rail could pass this year in addition to some type of cap on property taxes, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said Thursday.

Casey Cagle: Lieutenant governor says there is some support for a sales tax to fund transportation projects.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Casey Cagle: Lieutenant governor says there is some support for a sales tax to fund transportation projects.

He was less positive about a proposal by House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, to replace the homeowner's share of property taxes dedicated to schools for an expanded sales tax that would include services and food.

Mr. Cagle said the Senate he presides over would likely approve a constitutional amendment for November voter consideration that would allow individual communities or groups of communities to raise a sales tax for transportation, nicknamed T-SPLOST for transportation special purpose local option sales tax.

It's a concept pushed last year by developers, environmentalists and business organizations looking for solutions to traffic congestion and ways to create a commuter-rail network.

"I sense there is some support," Mr. Cagle said.

If the constitutional amendment is approved by the Legislature and voters, a bill setting the mechanism for the tax would probably be introduced next year after a reorganization of the state Department of Transportation is complete. The Republican leadership is leery of adding more money to an agency before it's management problems are solved.

"It's a question of what's doable," Mr. Cagle said.

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hankgaguy
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hankgaguy 01/18/08 - 09:41 am
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The T-SPLOST is more of a

The T-SPLOST is more of a potential headache for cash-strapped local governments and their residents. In a multi-county T-SPLOST, who will govern and oversee the expenditure? The MPO (if there is one) or the subset of governments participating, which basically creates a "mini-MPO" or metropolitan planning organization such as ARC in Atlanta or ARTS in Augusta-Aiken. Georgia needs money overall, not just in certain areas. Raise the gas tax. It charges the users who generate the problem. It also prices long commutes better than with "hidden" subsidies such as with this proposed sales tax measure. The buzzword these days is Fair Tax. The T-SPLOST is not when you think about it.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/18/08 - 02:39 pm
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This tax is unnecessary.

This tax is unnecessary. Local governments can already use SPLOST money for road building and maintenance. Cagle is trying to sneak in tax INCREASES.

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