News, updates, commentary and more from BikeAthens. BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Athens, GA. BikeAthens promotes transportation and land-use policies that improve alternative modes of transportation, including pedestrian, cycling, and public transit options. The mission of our organization is to make alternative transportation a practical, convenient, and safe option for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good news for transit funding

From the ABH, news on the state Capitol's 2008 budget proposals:

[A] series of transportation proposals championed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle will come before the Senate Transportation Committee for the first time today.

Those measures include an amendment to the Georgia Constitution that would allow counties to band together and approve a special-purpose, local-option sales tax for transportation, or T-SPLOST.

Cagle said the new, 1 percent tax would be the best solution for a potential transportation shortfall because it would allow local voters to approve the spending and a list of projects at the same time and would avoid a statewide tax increase.

"This does not force any tax increase on any citizen in this state," Cagle said at a news conference announcing the proposals.

While saying he couldn't speak for the Senate committee considering the measures, Cagle said he thinks the proposals could be before the Senate in relatively short order.

"I expect pretty swift movement on this issue," he said.

BikeAthens volunteers have worked on this issue for a number of years, but the T-SPLOST bills have always died in committee or were otherwise left to whither on some obscure legislative vine. Now, it looks like we may finally get the opportunity to at least locally vote on whether we can levy a $.0025 sales tax on ourselves for transit funding. Based on previous discussions with Athens Transit, a transit-dedicated sales tax would allow for substantial expansion of transit services while also freeing up funds in the general Athens-Clarke budget for other programs.
Let your senators know you support this!

District 46 State Senator:
Bill Cowsert

Capitol Office:

  • Phone: (404) 463-1366
  • Fax: (404) 657-0797

District Office:

P.O. Box 512

Athens, GA 30603

Phone: (706) 543-7700 (O)

(706) 202-3211 (F)