Thu., September 3, 2009 10:31pm (EDT)

Transportation Penny Cut in Half?
By Susanna Capelouto
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
DOT Commissioner Vance Smith says he's had conversations with House and Senate leaders about how to fund a transportation fix for Georgia. (photo by Carl Zornes)
DOT Commissioner Vance Smith says he's had conversations with House and Senate leaders about how to fund a transportation fix for Georgia. (photo by Carl Zornes)
State House and Senate leaders have started talks about how to fund transportation in Georgia.

They’ve struggled for two years to find a solution to the state’s transportation problems.

Both chambers have been at odds over how to get taxpayers to fund Georgia’s growing transportation needs.

The Senate was pushing a regional penny sales tax while the state House wanted a state-wide tax. The two may meet in the middle - literally.

A new idea making the rounds at the Capitol would split the penny in half.

Half of the tax would go to the entire state while the other half would stay in the region.

DOT Comissioner Vance Smith says he's heard about the idea, but wants to see more details.

"I haven't seen anything in writing," Smith says. "I'm anxious to see what projects that would acomplish and where those projects are located."

Smith says he's had conversations with House and Senate leaders. Transportation funding will be a big issue again in January when lawmakers return to the Capitol.

Currently the DOT has few reserves and is using mostly federal stimulus dollars for road projects.