Well, here it comes again. It’s about to get serious. In less than two weeks, on May 24th, we will vote in the primary election to select the candidates who will be on the ballot for the general election in November. And, as if the incessant barrage of TV lawyer commercials isn’t torture enough, we now must suffer through the final 14 days of heavy duty political ads provided for your enjoyment in 30 second electronic or televised installments. Thankfully, most of our local candidates still campaign face to face. But one very important issue on the ballot may not be receiving much publicity at all. Reauthorization of the TSPLOST will also be on the May 24th ballot and affects all of us directly in the pocketbook. The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is a sales tax that provides for local control of transportation capital projects right here at home. It also means that funding for our road projects is provided by one penny out of every dollar spent in Emanuel County. This means that everyone shares in helping to keep roads, streets, bridges and right of ways in good serviceable condition. TSPLOST is a sales tax; not a property tax, not an income tax, not an ad valorem tax. This does not mean that county and city governments don’t also receive other assistance from the State of Georgia. The Georgia Department of Transportation helps local governments in planning and administering, building, and paving and other transportation activities. The TSPLOST was voted in by the citizens of Emanuel County about 10 years ago and has resulted in this county and the cities herein having the best system of streets and roads in our history. It gives citizens the right and the power to participate in decisions affecting the transportation needs of the area. Just in Swainsboro alone in the last decade, TSPLOST has funded more than one hundred transportation projects throughout the city. In the county, major projects involving high traffic transportation arteries, secondary roads, and bridge construction have also been funded with TSPLOST revenue. Transportation is absolutely vital to the progress of Emanuel County. TSPLOST has given us more funding for our transportation system than ever before, but roads wear down and require constant renewal. If TSPLOST does not pass it means our roads and streets will have to be maintained by increasing other taxes we are already paying. May 24th is our opportunity to vote to continue this essential program and to ensure that we are not left behind in the continuing competition with other cities and counties for future growth and opportunity. TSPLOST is a winner and something we can all agree on. Vote for whichever candidates you may choose on May 24th, but be sure to vote YES for TSPLOST to continue this worthwhile, beneficial and very effective program for Emanuel County.
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