In July 2012, three of Georgia's 12 economic development regions approved the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST), a one-cent sales tax earmarked to fund a list of transportation related projects specific to each region. The TSPLOST passed in the Central Savannah River, River Valley and Heart of Georgia regions. Columbus is located in the River Valley region. As of January 1, 2013, sales tax in these regions increased by 1%. Click here to view regional map.
All funds generated in the River Valley region through the 2012 TSPLOST will stay in the River Valley region. The funds will be distributed two ways:
What exactly will the TSPLOST pay for?
Local officials in each region developed a list of transportation projects that could be funded by the additional revenue generated — and only projects on this approved list will be funded. In Columbus, eight transportation projects were approved by the voters:
Regional roundtables made up of county commission chairs and mayors were formed in each of Georgia’s regional commission districts. Each group worked with the public and the Georgia Department of Transportation to create a list of transportation projects for their region. Those projects have been vetted both by GDOT and voters through public hearings. A copy of the state legislation that established these roundtables may be viewed by clicking here. Click here to view HB 277.
Each local government in the region will be responsible for overseeing their projects. The Columbus Planning Department is responsible for managing the TSPLOST projects in Columbus to ensure that the projects are completed on time and on budget.
Which projects will be constructed first?
All of the projects will be constructed on a “pay as you go” basis. As the funding becomes available, construction projects will begin. Initially, three time periods or “bands” have been established to show available funding and which projects will be developed first.
The TSPLOST will be in effect for 10 years. It cannot be collected beyond this 10-year period unless the voters in this region approve an extension.
The Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission is responsible for collecting and distributing the TSPLOST funds to local governments in the River Valley region. Information about this state agency and the distribution of tax revenue collected may be found by clicking here.
Status reports will be given to the City Council on a quarterly basis. The last report was given on April 30, 2013. The report may be reviewed by clicking here.
Additional information may be obtained from the following:
Georgia Department of Transportation – Transportation Investment Act webpage click here.
Columbus Planning Department –
Lynda Temples Transportation Planner
P.O. Box 1340
Columbus, GA 31902
Government Annex Building
420 10th Street
Columbus, Georgia 31902
Phone: (706) 653-4421
Fax: (706) 653-4534
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