The Georgia State Legislature is considering an increase in state gas taxes to fund $1 billion in transportation and infrastructure improvements.
“There are no easy answers to the severe maintenance and repair shortfalls that we have in Georgia,” Auburn Mayor Linda Blechinger said. “Serious problems exist on roads, streets and bridges. We are way behind and it is of great concern.”
HB 170 – which was introduced by Rep. Jay Roberts (R-Ocilla) and co-sponsored by six colleagues, including Auburn Republican Terry England – was passed by the House this month after a key change that prevents the sales tax from being changed to an excise tax. That would have limited municipalities' ability to provide services.
The bill is being considered by the Senate and Blechinger is optimistic for its success.
“I am pleased with the changes made to HB 170 as it left the House,” she said. “Georgia Municipal Association and (the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia) worked together for months on trying to address ways of raising revenues for transportation needs. This is a statewide problem; it won’t fix itself and it won’t get better with time. I am proud of the House and Senate for taking up the issue; time will tell the final outcome.”