State transportation board members got an overview Thursday of the new funding plan. It will let voters decide in 20-12 if they want a new tax to pay for projects in their areas.
Regional boards could start meeting as early as this fall to form their list. Right now the DOT is developing criteria for what can be put on the list, says the DOT’s Matt Fowler. “It will vary by region, what works in Atlanta probably won’t work on the coast or north Georgia… so it will reflect local conditions and needs,” says Fowler.
The criteria will be mailed to local governments next month to get their feedback. The funding bill legislators passed last session divides the state into 12 regions and creates roundtables in each one to come up with a list of projects. The project lists will be put on the 2012 ballot for voters in those regions to determine whether they want a penny sales tax to fund them.
Brandon Beach who represents Cherokee and Cobb counties north of Atlanta says it’s important that what makes the list can be done within the ten year time frame the law permits the taxing to occur. “Because if we don’t deliver in a ten year span, we will never get another one these passed, so I would just caution that we put projects on there that we can deliver,” says Beach.
Roundtables will announce their first meetings in November.