The debate surrounding T-SPLOST - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

The debate surrounding T-SPLOST

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

You have probably seen the advertisements on television, on billboards, even on trucks encouraging you to vote yes for the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or T-SPLOST.

However, before many people head to the polls on July 31, they want to know how T-SPLOST could help the community.

Colin Martin with the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce explains the projects that could happen if the one percent sales tax is passed.

"[We could have] a bridge over the spider-web which has been a nightmare for drivers along Buena Vista Road for many, many, many years," said Martin. "We're going to widen Veterans Parkway from Maple Ridge on into Harris County. We're going to put a new exit ramp on interstate 185 at Cusseta Road."

Martin says T-SPLOST could bring in about $594 million to the 16 county River Valley region which includes Muscogee, Harris, Randolph, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Chattahoochee, Stewart, Quitman, Webster, and Marion Counties. Over a period of ten years, he says you could see more jobs.

"We expect the direct number of jobs created, in other words those will be in the construction of the roads, to be 16-thousand plus," said Martin.

He explains there could be more jobs in different fields in the future.

Some opponents of T-SPLOST like local NAACP and Sierra Club leaders gathered Thursday saying the tax was just too much for some.

"The numbers came out today, we're almost at 10% unemployment at Muscogee County, and to levy another tax on the people are this time without the necessary information has the potential to be very devastating financially," said Nathaniel Sanderson, President of the NAACP Columbus Chapter.

 Martin says he understands people do not want to pay more in taxes, but if passed, he says you will see dirt move soon.

"Not one penny of this is going to Atlanta for their projects or any other part of Georgia," Martin said. "One hundred percent of the money raised in this region stays in this region."

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