Fayette tells legislature to back off on T-SPLOST penalty

The regional 1-cent sales tax for transportation (TSPLOST) projects referendum was handily defeated last year by voters in the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission area.

But because the vote failed, it triggered a penalty provision in the law that requires an increase in the local share for transportation projects that also receive state dollars.

The Fayette County Commission on March 15 voted unanimously to support having the penalty rescinded by the state legislature.

According to the TSPLOST legislation, the counties in the regions of Georgia that failed to pass the TSPLOST will be required to put up a 30 percent match for local projects approved for state assistance by the Ga. Dept. of Transportation.

That percentage is a departure from the 10 percent match requirement that was previously in place under the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program that replaced both the Local Assistance Road Program (LARP) and the state aid program.

Fayette commissioners in the March 15 resolution noted that it is undemocratic to create a bill that penalizes counties if they oppose the measure. As stated, the resolution requested that the General Assembly rescind all penalties contained in the law and that the local match be lowered to its original 10 percent rate.

The subsequent unanimous vote came with no discussion by commissioners other than a comment from Chairman Steve Brown in support of the measure.