Georgia does need to find more money for transportationWe stated earlier we suspect voters in Coweta County and the Three Rivers Region will reject TSPLOST, the sales tax increase for transportation, when they go to the polls on July 31.
Voters simply are not in the mood to increase taxes at this time when the economy is still a concern.
The tax, which will be voted on by regions throughout Georgia, may have a better chance of passage in the 10 Atlanta Regional Commission counties of Metro Atlanta, where it is needed even more than in the Three Rivers Region. (Althouth we would not bet on passage in the ARC.)
That said, we think it is worth noting U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland got it right while speaking in Newnan Saturday, when he told attendees at a Coweta Tea Party Patriots gathering Georgia has a lower transportation tax than neighboring states.
He related a story about how he approached federal officials to seek additional transportation money for our state. He was told there’s no point in talking “until you (Georgia) start doing something to help yourselves.”
That’s right. Georgia is going to have to increase the state revenue earmarked for transportation if the state is going to continue to be the gem of the South. We are already falling behind North Carolina and other states in planning for rail and other transportation projects.
We’re not sure TSPLOST is the answer. Maybe some sort of user tax would be more appropriate — like additional state gasoline taxes. That would seem fairer by taxing those who use the roadways instead of continuing to increase sales taxes. The bottom line is as Westmoreland points out: Georgia is going to have to find more transportation revenue to stay ahead of other states.