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.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

T-SPLOST grinds forward

"A bill to allow regions in Georgia to vote for transportation funding has cleared a major roadblock," reports the AJC's "Gold Dome Live" blog.

The bill – still in progress, and still in the conference committee – also may contain moderate incentives for ... mass transit.

It’s still under negotiation, details are changing, and no copy [of the bill] has been circulated publicly yet.

The bill (HB 277, formerly HB 1218) would ...divide the state into 12 predefined regions, allowing each region to submit a referendum to voters for a 1 percent sales tax to fund a list of projects within the region. However, there’s a change allowing more local choice.

In the new version discussed Tuesday, Senate and House negotiators said counties still would not be able to opt out of a region or its tax.

The bill as it stands now would offer a couple of carrots to regions that do vote on a list. First, it would increase the state subsidy they currently get for a category of small paving and local projects. Also, in most of the state, 25 percent of the region’s new tax proceeds would stay in the local governments where the money came from.

Too soon to hope? Help this happen. Given the state's budget woes, especially with transportation projects, your support of T-SPLOST may be our only hope.

In the , um, metaphor, this would be you.

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