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Town Hall on TSPLOST set

In July, our 10 county region will vote on a Transportation SPLOST to approve a 1% sales tax to fund transportation projects within our region. The Lamar County Transportation Committee will be hosting two town hall informational meetings and you are invited to participate. The meetings will be held April 19, 2012 and May 24, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the civic center. Do you have a question that is not answered here? Please submit your question in writing by either fax (770-358-5886), posting your question on this blog, or send by email to missykendrick@bellsouth.net The local transportation committee has also issued a statement and some FAQs regarding the vote: Transportation Investment Act of 2010 Frequently Asked Questions ’¢ Is our money going to Atlanta or some other region? No. The money collected in Region 4 will stay in Region 4 and will be spent on transportation projects chosen by the representatives of Region 4. ’¢ Are we a ‘donor’ county? No. Projections are that we will collect approximately $25 million in Transportation SPLOST funds (1% sales tax collected over 10 years) and we will be getting back $35.9 million in regional Transportation SPLOST funds. ’¢ Is our money going toward the commuter rail project? No. ’¢ Why are we being asked to approve this? Traditionally, the gas tax (along with federal funding) has paid for local transportation projects, but the gas tax revenues are decreasing due to the fuel efficiency of cars. ’¢ What if we choose not to approve the Transportation SPLOST? Currently, transportation dollars from the state require a 10% match from local funds. If the new Transportation SPLOST is not passed, then our local match goes to 30%. ’¢ Who decided which projects would be included? A roundtable of representatives from each county. Our representatives were Commission Chairman Jay Matthews and Mayor Peter Banks. Our Lamar County projects were chosen by our local governments and our transportation committee and approved by them as well. ’¢ How is the money divided up? The funds are divided into two different pots. 25% of the money collected will be sent back to the 10 counties within the region based on a formula that takes into account our population and the number of road miles. This discretionary money can be used as the local governments choose toward their priority transportation projects. The other 75% of the money collected is designated for specific projects chosen by the roundtable. Our project is the widening of Highway 36 from Upson County to I-75. Do you have a question that is not answered here? Please submit your question in writing by either fax (770-358-5886), posting your question on this blog, or send by email to missykendrick@bellsouth.net

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