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May 15--  The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is urging state residents to vote for a new one penny sales tax to pay for local and regional road and transportation projects.

A Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) will be on the July 31 primary election ballot.

{mosimage}A spokesman for the Chamber, Heath Garrett, told Vidalia Kiwanians Tuesday the tax will generate $400 million in the next ten years for area road construction.

"It will be a $400 million dollar direct investment in this 16-county area over ten years.  That could me between 12,000 and 14,000 jobs over that ten years and would represent the largest economic activity in this region that we've seen in decades," he said.

The tax can only be used for roads in this region and can't be hijacked by politicians or bureaucrats in Atlanta, according to Garrett.

If the sales tax is not approved, Garrett says the state will no alternative but to look at increases in gas, property and income taxes.  He believes the sales tax is the fairest way to go.

"There's no such thing as a good tax, there's only necessary taxes and this is one of them.  It's 100% local money going to local projects with nothing going to Atlanta or Washington.  We'll get a return on our money without having to raise other taxes to pay for this stuff," he reports.

Georgians currently pay 47.6 cents per gallon in state and federal taxes when they buy gas.  That's the 19th highest in the country.  Garrett claims the state would have to raise the state tax by 27 cents per gallon to equal what the T-SPLOST is projected to collect.  If that happened, Georgians would by paying more gasoline taxes than any state in the country.

Click below to see how much gas tax is imposed nationwide.

http://www.commonsensejunction.com/notes/gas-tax-rate.html