Breaking Down the T-SPLOST Referendum

You may have seen the signs around- in a neighbor's yard, on a billboard, in the AJC. The Untie Atlanta posters that T-SPLOST supporters have made so common.

T-SPLOST, Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, is a cent tax proposed to invest on specific improvements. In 2010, the T-SPLOST referendum was authorized under Georgia House Bill 277, a piece of legislation to re-work the transportation and highway systems.

On Tuesday, July 31st, Georgians can vote for or against the one-cent sales tax. The state has been divided into 12 regions. Each region will be considered separate from the other 11 regions. So, the people within a region determine the acceptance of the potential tax.

So, let’s break down the pros and cons of T-SPLOST.

Supporters of T-SPLOST cite Georgia as a state in the midst of transportation funding crisis- that Georgia’s government doesn’t allot enough spending for transportation. Local officials in each region have identified projects within the region that could be funded by the additional tax revenue. So, those regions where voters approve T-SPLOST will see funds go to only the pre-approved projects…projects including roads, bridges, transit, bicycle facilities, etc.

T-SPLOST supporters also push the prospect of new jobs to complete the proposed projects, employing Georgians and others for at least the 10-year tax period.

Those opposed to T-SPLOST want Georgians to vote “no” on July 31st. They find fault with T-SPLOST’s structure- that it is only a sales tax, which is not an optimal way to collect money for a transportation system. Then, they criticize that once the projects are complete there won’t be the financial support to maintain the any new or improvement projects.


Categories: General