Election: TSPLOST vote for Coweta relates to Three Rivers planning regionBy SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Included on the July 31 ballot is the referendum on a regional one-percent sales tax for transportation.
Better known as the TSPLOST, for Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, the one-percent tax would be in place for 10 years.
For Coweta, the list of projects are those for the Three Rivers planning region.
If TSPLOST is approved, the sales tax rate in Coweta would go from 7 to 8 percent. The tax would apply to all taxable sales except for gasoline.
The tax would be applied to groceries.
Groceries are exempt from state sales tax but not from local sales taxes.
The sales tax on groceries in Coweta is currently 3 percent.
Sales tax on grocery items will increase to to 4 percent if TSPLOST passes.
Whether the tax becomes law or not depends on the total vote from all 10 counties in the Three Rivers Regional Commission.
Whether the tax is approved in individual counties does not matter.
The Three Rivers region is Coweta, Carroll, Heard, Troup, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Butts, Upson and Lamar Counties.
Over the life of the tax, it is expected to raise $167,545,694.
Seventy-five percent of the total sales tax collections will go to fund the pre-determined projects on the “regional investment list.”
Coweta has 21 projects on the list.
The remaining 25 percent will be divided among the counties and cities to be used as “discretionary” transportation funding — that is, it can be used for anything that is considered a “transportation purpose.”
Coweta and its cities are expected to receive approximately $3.3 million in discretionary funding the first year.
Following are the Coweta projects on the list. Each project is listed along with the total project cost and the TSPLOST funding request.
• Amlajack interchange north of Newnan on Interstate 85 — Engineering and right-of-way acquisition. $8,500,000; $8,500,000.
• Amlajack Boulevard extension — Would run from Shenandoah Industrial Park to future interchange. $9,000,000; $8,950,000.
• Coweta County Transit System — Operating and capital assistance. $3,791,776; $598,247.
• Coweta County Transit System — Operating and capital assistance for expanded service. $2,204,220; $899,578.
• Five Points Intersection Improvements — At Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and East Newnan Road in Newnan. $2,705,220; $2,705,220.
• GRTA regional vanpool service — $429,000; $429,000.
• Lower Fayetteville Road — Widening from Newnan Lakes Boulevard to Shenandoah Boulevard. $32,500,500; $32,500,500.
• Newnan-Coweta Airport — Terminal building and site work. $4,400,000; $4,400,000.
• Newnan-Coweta Airport — Southeast runway improvements. $7,920,000; $7,920,000.
• Newnan Crossing Boulevard East — Widening from Lower Fayetteville to Poplar Road. $8,845,000; $4,000,000.
• Newnan Southeast Bypass extension — South of Newnan Crossing Boulevard. $36,291,476; $5,000,000.
• Poplar Road interchange — $25,000,000; $25,000,000.
• Widening Highway 154 — Runs from U.S. 29 to Highway 54. $33,720,000; $33,720,000.
• Roundabout at the intersection of Highways 16 and 54 — Intersection near Sharpsburg. $1,509,278; $1,509,278.
• Widening Highway 16 East — Section from I-85 to U.S. 29. $4,007,924; $1,255,000.
• Pine Road, U.S. 29, Highway 16 — Intersection redevelopment. $4,494,326; $1,000,000.
• Multi-use path on Highway 34 — The path would run along the highway from Farmer Street near downtown Newnan to Lakeside Way across from the Kohl’s and Home Depot-anchored Newnan Pavilion. $3,736,768; $4,736,768.
• Multi-use path on Highway 34 — The section from Lakeside Way eastward all the way to Fayette County. $4,500,000; $4,500,000.
• Bridge widening on Highway 74/ 85 — In Senoia. $2,495,223; $2,495,223.
• Xpress Regional Commuter Service — This is for the Three Rivers region. $68,870,969; $17,932,271.