Democrat Jason Carter is reviving the idea of a regional sales tax for transportation infrastructure improvements in Georgia.
In 2012 Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal backed a sales tax increase for transportation, known as the T-SPLOST, but failed in most parts of the state despite support from a big part of the business community and many political leaders.
“We have to revisit a TSPLOST of some kind, and we have to revisit it in a way that would change the political environment,” Carter said. “Folks just don’t trust the political environment.”
Carter believes “T-SPLOST like activity” and more public-private partnerships should be options to improve the state’s roads and bridges. He also believes counties should be able to band together and levy their own tax.
“There has to be some way that we’re going to sit down and have a robust discussion about how to fund it. And one option is certainly to revisit a TSPLOST with a different geographical footprint, with a different set of partners, with a different structure. So there’s only so many places they can go,” said Carter. “All of that should be on the table.”
Without a long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund, states will continue to look for new ways to fund roadwork. Some potential options include a gas tax increase and an increase in tolls.