South Georgia T-SPLOST penny tax now in effect

Published: Oct. 1, 2018 at 6:20 PM EDT
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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

October 1, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Pennies will start adding up in South Georgia as T-SPLOST is now in effect.

The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was passed by South Georgia voters this past spring. October 1 marks the first day the extra penny tax will be collected.

On Monday, many shoppers said it's going unnoticed.

"No I haven't," said Joshua Laws, of Valdosta. "I didn't even know it existed."

"I haven't really noticed it personally, but I'm all for improvement on our road system," said Jett Voorhees, of Valdosta.

It's just one cent of added sales tax, but some said it doesn't make much sense.

"Yes, it's all good to have roads, but I think the main focus should be people, and making sure that people are fed, making sure that people have a place to stay," Laws said.

Those pennies are paying for local transportation projects, like a new air traffic control tower at the Valdosta airport.

"With anything like this, there's always a lot more need and desire than there is actual money out there," said Valdosta airport manager Jim Galloway. "We're excited that it made it through, made it through the final cut and miraculously enough as one of the first projects out of the chute."

The tower is Valdosta's first phase of the T-SPLOST. Completion is expected in 2021. As the money begins to come in, airport officials can begin designing the tower. The plan is to keep consistent with the current fire and rescue building, which the new tower will stand near.

Several projects will follow over the next ten years.

"I'm glad that steps are being taken, and even if it's a penny or two, I don't mind," Voorhees said. "Maybe an increase wouldn't be that bad either, anything to help getting around easier."

The extra penny will be added throughout the entire 18 county South Georgia region. It will be in effect for the next 10 years.

Valdosta has divided the T-SPLOST into three phases. The city website includes a full list of the projects included in each phase.