TSPLOST money a trickle

Georgia traffic

Revenues raised by the year-old penny transportation tax are lagging far below projections by state officials in the three regions that approved the controversial measure last July, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The tax, known to voters as TSPLOST, was a regional ballot measure to green light a one-cent consumption tax that proponents in the state capitol, including Gov. Nathan Deal, argued would facilitate an unprecedented wave of transportation spending across the state.

Under the plan, each region was granted autonomy from the remaining dozen districts and would retain all revenues raised for local projects. But only three of the state’s thirteen regions approved the tax, and the critical metro Atlanta region was not among them.

Local commissions and citizen advisory boards created a project list prior to the vote last year, but now even those regions that approved the tax may not get their wish lists filled.

“You can’t build the projects with projections you don’t have,” Mike Dover, the GDOT administrator for the the Transportation Investment Act, which authorized the TSPLOST referendum, told the Augusta Chronicle.

According to the paper, monies collected in the 13-county Augusta region was 19 percent below projections through October. The second, covering Vidalia, also lagged 19 percent; and a third, covering Albany, was down only 13 points.

- James Richardson

July 30, 2012