Georgia House Transportation Chairman Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, has announced the Transportation Funding Act of 2015. Roberts says the legislation aims to address the state's transportation infrastructure needs and provide more than $1 billion in new transportation funding ‘without a tax increase.’
The act is a comprehensive package, and among its many measures is a proposal to have alternative fuel vehicle owners pay a so-called ‘user fee.’ The fee would be $200 for non-commercial and $300 for commercial alt-fuel vehicles annually. It would not be imposed on hybrid vehicles, however, because they also use gasoline. The revenue from the fees would go toward funding transit systems.
The act would also convert the sales tax on motor fuel to an excise tax, which would be set at $0.292/gallon. Furthermore, it would recapitalize the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank so that a revolving, self-sustaining, loan/grant fund is created to incentivize governments and other entities to provide matching funds for local construction of projects.
“There has been a need for legislation to address our state's transportation needs for several years now, and we can no longer ignore it,” says Roberts. “We have studied how to fund transportation in our state going forward, and I believe that this bill provides the best solution. I am proud to introduce this plan that does not involve a tax increase for our citizens.”
Notably, Roberts says he welcomes feedback on the legislation: “This is the beginning of a process, and we are listening to any and all suggestions.”
The bill will go through the committee process and may be amended prior to reaching the House floor for a vote. If approved, it would then go to the state Senate for consideration.
For a list of the legislation's measures, click here.