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Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 1:01pm

Regions Propose Transportation Wish Lists

All of Georgia's transportation regions are scheduled to have their spending proposals for a possible new sales tax finalized by the end of the week.

The lists detail how officials want to spend revenue from a transportation tax.

The proposed one cent sales tax will go before voters in each of the twelve regions next year.

Regional officials have spent months going through road and other transportation projects and prioritizing them so voters will warm to the tax.

Georgia Department of Transportation planner Todd Long says, the process got many officials talking to each other for the first time.

"It's created a situation where these local governments have worked together to develop a list they've never had to do before," Long says.

Georgia's northeast, northwest and Metro Atlanta regions were the last scheduled to propose their lists.

They should be done by Thursday.

Jimmy Burnsed chairs the Coastal Regional and Bryan County Commissions. He says, selling the tax to rural areas starts with getting the list right.

"We're a bedroom community to Savannah, so ingress and egress into Chatham County and Savannah was critical for our voters," Burnsed says. "I think the same was true in the Brunswick area and the Hinesville area as well."

Officials in all the regions now will hold public hearings and final votes on their lists by mid-October.

Voters will decide the sales tax region by region next year.