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Published January 30, 2015
 
Transportation Funding (HB 170)
 
Based on the current language in the bill, some counties may be placed in a better financial position, while other counties may not, however it will depend upon a variety of factors such as the number of local sales taxes levied by the county and what percent of the revenues are distributed to the city.

Georgia’s counties are currently reviewing and analyzing the recently introduced legislation and will continue to work in good faith with the legislature as the bill begins the vetting process.

The issue of transportation funding is a top priority for counties in 2015. We have been, and will continue to work with the legislature to find a diversified and stable stream of revenue that will work to address state and local government transportation infrastructure needs.

Counties are responsible for maintaining 70% of Georgia’s road network making funding for transportation purposes an equally critical issue for counties as it is the state.

Presently, counties invest twice the amount in transportation than is collected from local sales taxes on motor fuel statewide.

The proposed legislation allows for the county SPLOST to continue to be collected on motor fuel until it expires at which point a county may levy a 3 cent per gallon local excise tax on motor fuel by ordinance to offset the lost revenue from the lack of collecting SPLOST on motor fuel.

Examples of County impact (does not include education sales tax) based on the current legislation and assuming a current retail gas price of $2.50/gallon and 480m gallons sold:
 
County A
SPLOST* only= 1% on Motor Fuel
Current Price per Gallon= $2.50
City Share= 50%
MF Collection Countywide= $12,000,000
Current County Share= $6,000,000
Current City Share= $6,000,000
3 Cent/ Gallon Collection**= $14,400,000
Difference= $8,400,000
County B
LOST and SPLOST*= 2% on Motor Fuel
Current Price per Gallon= $2.50
City Share= 35%
MF Collection Countywide= $24,000,000
Current County Share= $15,600,000
Current City Share= $8,400,000
3 Cent/ Gallon Collection**= $14,400,000
Difference= ($1,200,000)
   
*SPLOST is limited to capital only
**Dedicated to transportation purposes but eligible for capital and operations