transportation special purpose local option sales tax, or T-SPLOST, has been in
effect since January 1st. Voters may have approved the money, but
will it be enough to cover the costs when it comes to our roads?
Department of Transportation says that several T-SPLOST projects will begin
construction in the next 30 to 45 days. Over the
next ten years, the penny tax is projected to bring $841 million to the
region. However, as we found out… tax collections
are lower than projected.
For a little more than three
months, consumers in the CSRA have been paying an extra penny on the dollar for
the things they buy. The sales tax is supposed to fund several transportation
projects across the area. But the Department of Transportation says T-SPLOST
revenue is 20% lower than projected.
“I think there are a lot of
things that can be contributed to that. Such as the bad weather, such as the
people that really in business that did not register with the state in order to
collect that one cent, the extra penny… And by doing so, they have not
reported it,” says DOT District 12 Board Member Don Grantham.
DOT Board Member Don Grantham
says the current data is through the month of February. He says DOT based their
projections on what the region normally collected on sales taxes.
T-SPLOST opponents feared
that revenue would be lower than projected. And with three phases of T-SPLOST
projects planned over the next ten years, they questioned what would happen to
those projects slated for phase three.
But Grantham says the law has a
backup plan built into in case the actual money collected is lower than
“You would scale down the
projects to a point where they are affordable. Just because they are in phase
three, does not say they will not be started or completed,” he says.
Grantham says that numbers are
also down for the other two regions that passed T-SPLOST, however, he says the
numbers don't concern him at this time.
“From the stand point that
we are only looking at two months. We're not into the spring, we're not into
the seasonal time of the year of spending, doing things of that nature,” he says.
says we could start seeing paving and other small roadway projects start very
tax revenue seems to be down overall in the area. Augusta
officials say tax receipts were about 5% lower than February 2012.