0

T-SPLOST to be decided on July 31 ballot

COVINGTON - Newton County residents will join all Georgians on July 31 in deciding whether they want to pay an additional one percent sales tax over the next 10 years to fund transportation projects.

The sales tax, or T-SPLOST, is expected to generate more than $18 billion over 10 years if passed statewide. The state has been divided into 12 regions that will each vote on T-SPLOST. Newton is in the Northeast Georgia Region, along with Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton counties. Transportation revenues generated in the Northeast Georgia Region are expected to total $987 million over the 10-year life of the T-SPLOST, from 2013 to 2022.

Of that, Newton's portion is approximately $120 million.

"I think that most people would agree these projects need to be built; the question is, do you think this is the right mechanism for building these projects," said Jim Jaquish, senior communications specialist with the Atlanta Regional Commission

Newton County projects that would benefit, and the estimated costs, are as follows:

-- Salem Road - The widening of Salem Road from two to six lanes and installing traffic signals at the major intersections along the road between the I-20 interchange and Brown Bridge Road would be funded in its entirety at an estimated cost of $34,317,452.

-- East Covington ByPass - The road would be widened from U.S. Highway 278 to Ga. Highway 36. The entire project, at a cost of $32,754,420, would be funded through T-SPLOST.

-- Crowell Road - The widening of Crowell Road from the I-20 interchange to Brown Bridge Road from two to four lanes would include a bridge/culvert over a tributary to the Yellow River. The entirety of the project, at a cost of $31,782,683, would be funded with T-SPLOST.

-- Brown Bridge Road widening - T-SPLOST would fund $7 million of the $25 million project, which would entail widening Brown Bridge Road from two to four lanes from its intersection with Crowell Road to the intersection with Salem Road, a distance of 3.3 miles, and upgrading all major crossroads along the project route.

-- Covington Municipal Airport - A total of $6.6 million in T-SPLOST revenues would fund a new terminal building, navigational aids, lighting, a new apron, and fuel farm at the airport.

-- Industrial Blvd. from U.S. Highway 278 to Ga. Highway 142 - Turn lanes would be added and shoulders widened on Industrial Blvd. The total project cost is $9,799,200 and T-SPLOST would fund $7.8 million.

-- Closing of Frontage Road and relocation of River Road extension at Ga. Highway 11 and I-20 would be entirely funded at an estimated cost of $225,000.

If Newton County voters approve T-SPLOST and it is approved by voters region-wide, Newton's match for other state and federally funded projects not included on the T-SPLOST list would be reduced from around 20 percent to 10 percent. If T-SPLOST passes in the region, but fails in Newton, the match would be upped to 30 percent. If it fails in both the county and region, the match would increase to 50 percent. Those percentages would be locked in for 10 years. In addition, counties and regions where T-SPLOST does not pass will not receive any of the additional sales tax dollars.

"It's very important to our community to get enough voters to pass and get the sales tax dollars spent in Newton. In this case we've got a voice on what projects are going to be done and how they will impact our county," BOC Chairman Kathy Morgan previously told the Citizen. Morgan served on the Northeast Georgia Regional Roundtable of officials that selected projects for the region, along with former Covington Mayor Kim Carter.

Seventy-five percent of each region's proceeds would go to fund projects on the list, with the exception of the Atlanta region, which is 85 percent. Twenty-five percent would be divided among the regions' local governments to be spent on transportation projects of that government's choosing. The funds would be distributed based on population and road mileage.

A citizen's accountability committee in each region will ensure projects are completed on time and on budget, and the group will maintain a website and report annually to the General Assembly. The Georgia Department of Transportation would be responsible for building and repairing roads, while the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority would be in charge of transit projects.

Staff Correspondent Aimee Jones contributed to this story.

Comments

Silverbullet 2 years, 5 months ago

This would be fine if was only for RAPID RAIL! We continue to build highways we dont need and cant afford to maintain. Of course if we had rapid rail the GADOT wouldnt need a lot of people to design, build, redesign and rebuild all these roads. The construction of the metro interstate system began in the late 50s. It aint never stopped!!! Not even for one day.

1

UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

I dont think we want MARTA in Newton either.....

1

RetiredGuy 2 years, 5 months ago

Why not?

Buses from the van lots to the marta rail would be very nice.

0

UGAFan 2 years, 5 months ago

I guess you have not been to any Marta Rail Stations lately.

0

will 2 years, 5 months ago

Marta is the original loser cruiser we do not need this bunch in the area. Its already a ghetto. VOTE NO

1

Billy 2 years, 5 months ago

I couldn't disagree more with Silver. I-20 at 285 should 6 plus lanes, should have been 20 years ago. GA HWY 36, with all the 40-45 MPH folk, should be a four lane road, since semi-truckers seem to use it as much as the freeway. I-285 should be several lanes across. If you don't agree with that, you don't drive it, believe me... People who push rapid transit are poor people (understandable) and rich snobs who probably work at home, if they work at all, or hyper liberals who in their vision of paradise, what to get us out of our cars no matter what costly or ludicrous scheme they can come with, as long as they can control the "great unwashed." Build the roads for the automobiles that will be on them for the next 50 years, at the very least, and supplement that with public trans WHERE PRACTICAL.I wonder if liberals even know what that word means...

1

HonestAbe 2 years, 5 months ago

Let's see- north newton voters expected to vote for this but not a one of these projects are for North Newton. Wrecks on 81 all the time but widening or passing lanes not included here. We continue to pass sales tax and they keep asking for more.

0

PoolBoy 2 years, 5 months ago

75% of the collected funds go to the listed projects. 25% of the funds are not project specific and can be used anywhere in the County. Without the T-SPLOST you have very little chance of getting any major improvements to any road for many years to come. With the T-SPLOST a lot more can get improved besides just the projects listed. Vote YES.

0

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

Vote No all the gOverment wants is more money

1

AWOL 2 years, 5 months ago

Politicians always want more yet cannot be trusted with what they have. As long as they let me vote on whether or not I get taxed, you can bet it will be no. I would change my tune if there weren't so many abuses of the system. They have enough of my money and I dont trust them with any more.

1

henrystamm 2 years, 5 months ago

Here we go again. More waste for the politicians to fund their election and enrich their pockets. We build our entire roads and streets with the taxes in previous years wit 10% of the taxes we pay now. Lets cut government employees in half and reduce compensation to all elected official by 75% and cut all employees salaries by 25% that will return us to sanity. Just a first step that will open up for more trustworthy people and volunteers to govern. Just saying!

0

nc_citizen64 2 years, 5 months ago

How's the last thing we funded going.....the cow barn to nowhere!

1

John 2 years, 5 months ago

Last reported in the NC or CN paper & on the web about a week ago - the county commissioners are "in discussion" on the Civic Center & some current thinking the "cow barn" would be included in the center. Stay tuned for future updates.

0

Frustrated 2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder how all the folks living near the Square would feel about a cow show in that area on the weekend?

2

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

I live on salem rd area. What hapen to the civic center from the splost before the one we have now. until the county has a civic center that i have paid for but did not get. I will allways vote NO on any splost or tsplost. I do not trust them any more. I donot think salem rd will be done in my life time even if we vote for tspolst. and I live there.

1

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

PS that includes the School System Too

1

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO THANK YOU

2

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

OH BY THE WAY EVERYONE COMMENTING HAS TO BE NAMED JEFF.

1

amp72 2 years, 5 months ago

Ha! That just made my day!

1

RetiredGuy 2 years, 5 months ago

Vote NO for T-SPLOST. Newton Co. does not need any more growth. Do you want Newton to look like disasters of Dekalb, Fulton, Cobb , Gwinnett, counties?

Vote NO!

1

John 2 years, 5 months ago

No doubt growth will happen - but a controlled growth, with strong building codes and covenants that are enforced are a greater benefit to the total county than by the "good ole boy" approach we have seen take place in the last decade. There are developments in this county that homes are so close together that they could share a common rain gutter - why? personal gains by the developer & this was approved by NC.

1

PoolBoy 2 years, 5 months ago

And voting no for the T-SPLOST is going to fix this how? (By the way, the "T" stands for transportation)

0

John 2 years, 5 months ago

The damage has been done & lately, like the last 5 years, there "ain't' been a lot of new home construction.

0

RetiredGuy 2 years, 5 months ago

The county commission wants to spend all of these millions on road projects while at the same time they have gutted the libraries, their services and hours of operation. Now I've heard that they Commissioners are going to take "benefits" away from the staff.

This is wrong. The citizens deserve better than this cutting up the library.

Libraries are part of the educational system for kids and adults. The funding must be restored so there is a full staff, more hours of operation, more buying new books and magazines.

1

PoolBoy 2 years, 5 months ago

Find another way to fund the roads, like maybe T-SPLOST, and you will free up County money for other things, like maybe libraries. Vote YES.

1

LeavingNewton 2 years, 5 months ago

If it were as simple as just voting no and the gov't wouldn't spend the money on these or other projects. Problem is the money still gets spent and the tax burden is on those of us who actually pay taxes. I would much rather have a tax that is shared by 100% of the population rather than continuing to pile on the 50% of us that pay for everything now.

1

HonestAbe 2 years, 5 months ago

Problem is that property tax never goes down after you pass any type SPLOST.

1

John 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, the way the proposed TSPLOT would work is that you & everyone else in the 9 counties that are voting on this additional tax would get the "privilege" of paying an additional 1% sales tax on all taxable purchases plus continue to pay the other taxes you currently pay or not pay. But if you buy most anything, gas, food, tobacco products, clothes, even second hand clothes etc. you will pay a tax of some form. In Newton County, we already pay 3 percentage points more in sales tax than the 4% Georgia sales tax.

1

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

A new car $20000.00 + an extra $200 Grocerys 125 per week for 1 year extra $65.00 we can keep going it is not just 1 cent its we pay more than enough.

PS GA 400 when it is pay for we will remove the toll Its been 20 years still paying 50 cents a car.

VOTE NO

1

PoolBoy 2 years, 5 months ago

So you vote no and save the extra $200 on the new car. Now that new car is stuck in traffic on say Salem Road, and the extra gas cost you $250 year not to mention the lost time. The other option is to raise the gas tax to pay for roads and then the new car cost $500 year extra in taxes. Why not let some of the people who don't pay income tax but do buy grocerys help pay for some improvements instead of just getting a free ride?

1

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

I drive from I 20 to Smith store 2 times a day. after driving on the down town conn. Salem rd is not that bad. I have not taken a free ride from no one I pay sales tax car tax tax on my home tax on ss tax Fed medicare fed income tax state income tax. Voted for the splost that we were going to get a covic center. (By the way the grass needs to be mowed in the Civic center) supported the school splost. But like most of us we are just make it by right now and would like to be able to may be spend some of my money and get somting for. So when they build that civic center that I have paid for I might vote for a TSPOLST.

1

John 2 years, 5 months ago

poolboy, if you or any other person buy gasoline and/or diesel fuel (except off road diesel) you pay taxes on each gallon bought. These funds which are "supposed" to fund road development & maintenance. Further, you may recall about 1 year ago or so when the price of gas got to a given level (my SWAG is $3.60/gal) the state of Georgia was allowed to further increase taxes by another 3 cents per gallon & they did. Haven't heard or read anywhere where the State has reduced the tax on gas by that same 3 cents..
There have been and always will be people (low income, many retired people, etc) that do not pay income tax this will not go away. Just like SPLOT & T-SPLOT, ad velorum, etc, once it is approved it will NEVER go away - government gets permanently addicted to any new source of tax revenues.

1

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

Ok slaem rd from old salem to I 20 is in Rockdale. This is not on the Rockdale list. They are in another region. so If we pass it we have to Rockdale share to. or just build the road in Newton County and have a 6 lane road to No where. Vote No

0

HonestAbe 2 years, 5 months ago

I say vote NO and my name is NOT Jeff. Please do not sue me for voting NO. My guess is that Denny Dobbs has been hired to push this so that he can reap the benefits of the road next to his property being four laned.

1

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

Ok in today paper is a story. Not 6 lane but 4 lanes. No TSPLOST money to be spent in Rockdale Ole salem to I20 but Rockdale gets Fed Dollars and Newton County pays its own way. No this is Not right. Vote No

0

henrystamm 2 years, 5 months ago

Hay Poolboy, do you work for the government?

0

PoolBoy 2 years, 5 months ago

No, I just drive Salem Road, I-20, I-285 5 days a week and not afraid to pay a little to get some relief. I guess I just see it as progress. Vote YES.

0

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

Benn drive down salem road for 30 years. It is fine. learn soome back roads. And if you want to pay more Just write a litte check out to Newton County I am sure they would love to spend it in Dist 1, 4 &5.

0

PoolBoy 2 years, 5 months ago

Salem Road "is fine"? I'm sorry but I thought we were talking about the Salem Road in Newton County that currently has over 23000 cars per day and is expected to carry over 42000 cars by 2032. That is not fine by any stretch of anybody's imagination. Something has to be done sooner than later. Vote YES.

0

mgh1966 2 years, 5 months ago

I Wish someone would mow the civic center atrium.

0

John 2 years, 5 months ago

If WISHES were horses, beggars would ride. If it really bothers you be a stand up person & volunteer to mow it.

0

MamaTurd 2 years, 5 months ago

Vote NO on this crap and sue me sue me sue me.  Throw all incumbents OUT.  Our school board is shamemful.  Our city council files ethics charges on each other.  The schl board chair caused the AG investigation and we have a county commissioner reporting to JAIL on Tuesdays.

0

Tatersalad 2 years, 5 months ago

ok now i be gone add you to my lawsuit up in heah

0

casper 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm voting NO for T-SPLOST for Newton County.

0

Sign in to comment