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Published May 5, 2015
 
ACCG APPLAUDS COUNTY OFFICIALS FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO TRANSPORTATION BILL
HB 170 to address transportation needs in Ben Hill County
 
ATLANTA, Ga. (May 4, 2015) - Governor Deal signed HB 170, the Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding Act of the 2015 legislative session today. ACCG, Georgia’s county association, thanks county officials from across the state for their diligent efforts throughout the entire legislative process in working to modify the bill for the benefit of counties.

“HB 170 is a significant piece of legislation that impacts all counties,” said ACCG Executive Director Ross King. “We are grateful to have such an actively engaged statewide membership, support from association leadership and the ACCG staff during the study committee and legislative process. With our members’ recommendations and guidance, ACCG had a seat at the table throughout the entire modification process in regard to this bill.”

As the official membership organization for all 159 county governments in Georgia, ACCG undertakes issues before the General Assembly on counties’ behalf to ensure legislation does not have an adverse effect on the state’s constitutionally designated political subdivisions. HB 170 includes many provisions that impact counties yet retains the flexibility of their local sales taxes on motor fuel while adding additional tools to raise revenue for local investment in transportation infrastructure through the self-start of a regional TSPLOST and a single county SPLOST for transportation purposes. In addition, local governments will see an increase in their Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) funds of approximately 30 percent after a full year of HB 170 being in effect as a result of the increase in the state motor fuel excise tax.

HB 106 is the clean-up bill for the single county TSPLOST provision in HB 170. Still awaiting the Governor’s signature, the clean-up bill is vital to providing guidance to local governments in implementing the new law.

“Though each county has its own needs, ensuring adequate transportation infrastructure in our communities is a priority for us all,” said ACCG President and Gwinnett County Chairman Charlotte Nash. “We appreciate the efforts of state leadership that resulted in the passage of HB 170 and look forward to working together to address the needs of Georgia residents and businesses.”

Originally known as commissioners of roads and revenue, Georgia’s county commissioners are tasked with ensuring the state’s throughways are maintained as county governments are responsible for 70 percent of the road network and just over 8,000 bridges. Ben Hill County is responsible for 362 miles of paved and unpaved roads, and works hard to keep them maintained. In addition, the Perry House Bridge is at the top of the list for replacement; at a cost of about $900,000. This legislation will provide more flexibility in the revenue sources that Ben Hill County may access to address those specific transportation infrastructure needs.

“Our Road Superintendent and his Department rank among the finest in the state,” said Ben Hill County Chairman Philip C. Jay, III. “They do a great job of stretching the funds they receive to keep our roads serviceable, and we hope this new law will give them the resources they really need.”

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ACCG is Georgia’s county association and works on behalf of county officials and their communities by providing public policy and legislative advocacy, leadership development, civic and community engagement initiatives, insurance and retirement programs that specialize in local government needs and other cost-saving programs. Formed in 1914 when county officials came together to help fund the state’s first highway department, ACCG today serves as a catalyst for advancing Georgia’s counties. For more information, go to www.accg.org.