History of TSPLOST in Dade County
Years ago residents of Dade County said, "no" to a property tax increase and told commissioners to "find an alternate way to fund these projects." County Commissioners listened to the people and petitioned the Georgia General Assembly to step up and help counties and cities fund transportation in Georgia. Since then these are the historical facts of what happened:
Transportation Investment Act (TIA)
In 2010, the Transportation Investment Act (TIA) provided an opportunity for regions throughout Georgia to impose a 1% sales tax to fund transportation improvements within their region. Only three of the 12 regions were successful in passing the tax. Although a majority of Dade County voters voted in favor to approve this tax, the northwest Georgia region overall failed to pass the measure, therefore the tax failed.
Transportation Funding Option
To provide another transportation funding option, in 2015 the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 170 to fund Georgia's Transportation infrastructure by changing the way taxes are calculated on fuel in Georgia. Although this has had an enormous impact on the State's treasury and how they fund the Georgia Department of Transportation it did very little to assist small counties like Dade County whose boarders touch another State line, and in our case two state lines (Alabama and Tennessee).
Single County TSPLOST
Once again our Legislator's listened to these border counties and passed HB 106 allowing a "Single County TSPLOST" beginning in July of 2017, any county not currently in a TIA region, may impose a single county TSPLOST for transportation purposes if certain conditions were met: The County and City had to jointly pass an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to determine the projects containing 30% of the revenues be spent on the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan (SSTP); a county must have a regular SPLOST in order to levy a single TSPLOST; only one single county TSPLOST can be in effect at a given time; and the max of 1% for a period not to exceed five years.
Flexibility, Clarifications & Enhancements
In the 2017 regular session, the Georgia General Assembly passed HB 134 adding flexibility, clarifications and enhancements to the existing Single County TSPLOST law by:
- Allowing Single County TSPLOST to fund state transportation projects, as is allowed in regular SPLOST law
- Clarifying that a Regional TSPLOST and a Single County TSPLOST cannot be on the ballot at the same time
- Giving counties and / or cities the authority to bond their T-SPLOST projects
- Permitting more than one Single County T-SPLOST to be levied at the same time as long as the amount does not exceed 1%
- Allowing all counties not currently collecting a Regional TSPLOST to have a referendum to pass a Single County T-SPLOST