New Sales Tax Could Generate Hundreds of Millions for Transportation

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-- Valdosta, Ga. -- June 10, 2012 --

New overpasses, highway rehabilitation and bike lanes. That's just some of the work that would be done with profits from the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or T SPLOST.

The new one cent sales tax will either be approved or shut down at the polls on July 31st.

T SPLOST is estimated to collect $670 million dollars in revenue over the next ten years in south Georgia. 18 counties will include the sales tax if it's approved. Lowndes would the largest contributor raising about $250 million.

Other states including Florida will be closely watching the vote. They could be next to adopt it if it's successful. One thing is certain, communities are devided over the issue.

Zack Iott of Madison, Florida said "If everybody uses the roads then everybody should pay for the construction and maintanence of the roads. So I think I would pay another penny."

Joseph Alvarez of Valdosta said "I definitely feel like there's a need to help improve these roads around here but what I don't understand is how it has to come out of our pockets. Even though it's just a penny, pennies add up."

Currently the Georgia Department of Transportation spends about $1 billion annually on transportation.