Ten Good Reasons to Approve TSPLOST

It makes sense that the people who use the streets, roads, sidewalks and bike trails in Dade County should help pay for them ... including those who visit here. A fair tax paid by everyone who buys anything in our county is the right answer.

Rather than seeking General Obligation debt backed up by property taxes, the State of Georgia has made available to all 159 counties an alternative sales tax option to fund transportation needs for each County and City in our State. Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax commonly referred to as TSPLOST is a way to fund needed transportation improvements and infrastructure in each County and City including Dade County and the City of Trenton.

To accomplish everything on our list without TSPLOST would be highly improbable and nearly impossible. Many transportation enhancements simply could not be completed without looking to property owners to shoulder that burden. The more likely scenario probably would be that these projects would simply not be accomplished. Dade County and City of Trenton Commissioners don't want to raise property taxes, so they need your help in funding these badly-needed transportation expenses in an alternate way. TSPLOST is the answer.

TSPLOST has the potential to generate $7.75 million over five years from this 1 percent sales tax here in Dade County alone. This is the equivalent of a $272 property tax hike on a $200,000 home in the unincorporated area of Dade County and a $427 property tax hike on a $200,000 home in the City of Trenton each of those five years. It's a lot easier to share that burden with our visitors.

A substantial percentage of local sales taxes are paid by tourists, or a total of $470,370 in 2016, the latest year for which totals are available. Taxes of $3.1 billion were directly and indirectly generated by tourism in Georgia in 2016. Each household in Georgia would need to be taxed an additional $870 per year to replace the tourism taxes received by state and local governments.

Here are 10 good reasons to approve TSPLOST:

  1. Collection will start Oct. 1 and the tax will be collected for five years and then it goes away
  2. Provides an alternative to property taxes
  3. Visitors to our county help pay for the infrastucture they use
  4. It's based on consumption: the more you buy, the more you pay
  5. Primary objectives are repaving roads, installing sidewalks and pedestrian/bike improvements.
  6. All money collected will be spent right here in Dade County and the City of Trenton
  7. By law, money generated by TSPLOST will not reduce the percentage of state or federal funds collected by Dade County
  8. It's only a penny on the dollar, a small price to pay for our future ... and it won't increase the cost of buyng a car here
  9. TSPLOST projects will create jobs and bring people to our county to work and spend money
  10. A better transportation infrastructure will translate to future economic growth

Currently 46 counties in Georgia have a TSPLOST in place. All but one of these counties currently has an 8% sales tax rate (4% state / 4% local).