EXPLAINER: T-SPLOST option returns to 2022 ballot

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Early voting for State primaries is underway in Columbus. This year, you’ll see the Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax or T-SPLOST on your ballot, giving you the chance to vote for or against transportation improvements throughout Muscogee County.

Updated T-SPLOST options are on ballots once every decade.

“If you look at the list of projects, if there is any one that you would like to see, this really the only way that we can afford them,” Will Burgin, President of Advance Columbus and West Georgia, said.

If you’re planning to vote in Georgia’s primaries this term, be prepared to weigh in on the state’s T-SPLOST. This is nothing new in our area. If voted and passed, the 1% tax would be a continuation of the T-SPLOST passed in 2012.

“In the last 10 years of having a T-SPLOST, we’ve been able to make major improvements to our roadways, add to our bike paths all over our multi-county area,” Burgin said.

If you look at Columbus’s proposed T-SPLOST chart, there is a 10 year plan for projects, organized in three tiers and by importance.

The first: repaving the Riverwalk with a price tag of roughly $13 million.

“The targeted project is to replace sections of asphalt that have failed that run from Downtown Columbus to Fort Benning,” Burgin explained. “Storms have really done some damage. The high waters have really done some damage.”

All of the projects have one thing in common: to make commuting more efficient, including widening roads and adding more multi-use paths. Sixteen surrounding counties, including Muscogee County, would benefit from this sales tax and 46 planned projects.

“Seventy percent of that is here in Muscogee County, so the majority of what is being collected in our sales tax will be spent here on the voters in Muscogee County. That makes a big difference in transforming our area.”

Over the 10-year period, the tax is expected to raise more than $650 million. At least $150 million would be contributed by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Note: this is not an additional sales tax. If voted on and passed, Muscogee and surrounding county’s sales tax remains at 9%.

Early voting in Columbus ends on May 20th, and in-person voting is on May 24th.

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