Atlanta > State Transportation Bill Clears Committee with Revisions

| February 19, 2015

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ATLANTA — A substitute version of the initial Transportation Bill has cleared a legislative committee with changes implemented to alleviate concerns over funding by local governments and school boards.

The substitute legislation was approved by the House Transportation Committee which would replace the state sales tax on gasoline with an excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon.  That rate would be adjusted for inflation.

In addition to the new excise tax, Representative Jay Roberts, Ocilla, has proposed imposing an annual fee of $200 on private electric vehicles whose owners don’t pay gas taxes.  In addition, commercial electric vehicles would be charged $300 a year.

In an effort of simplification, the bill also combines a mix of existing sales taxes charged on a local level into a single charge of 1.25 percent.  That is up from an aggregate of 1 percent.

These changes address issues local governments had with local sales tax collection on gasoline, fearing a drain of funding on a local level.

State Democrats are concerned the new bill doesn’t put enough focus on transit needs and improvements.  Roberts did not that the state would pledge to put $100 million in the state’s annual bond package for transit needs.

The bill now moves to the House Rules Committee, which is expected to approve the bill and send it to the House floor for a vote.

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