PolicyBEST introduced itself to the world this morning with a press conference at the State Capitol. Supporters and opponents of the failed 2012 TSPLOST proposal, including Michael Sullivan and Seth Millican of the Georgia Transportation Alliance, Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta TEA Party, and Neil Herring and Colleen Kiernan of the Sierra Club stood behind PolicyBEST Executive Director Charlie Harper as he outlined a possible plan to solve Georgia’s transportation issues.
The group’s proposal includes:
- Using the ‘fourth penny’ of the sales tax charged on gasoline for transportation, rather that having it go into the General Fund as it does now.
- Allowing counties and municipalities to band together to define transportation projects and hold local SPLOSTS to pay for them.
- Allowing SPLOSTS to charge sales tax in amounts other than a full penny, if only a fraction of a cent tax is needed to pay for a project.
- Streamlining transportation oversight and operational responsibility in order to become more efficient.
Harper said that as he began talking to members of the groups involved in the TSPLOST debate two years ago, he found many of the ideas behind the referendum were acceptable to people on both sides of the debate. He said one of this goals in starting PolicyBEST was to bring everyone together to have a serious discussion about what should happen next.
When asked if the group’s proposals amounted to being the infamous ‘Plan B‘ that was supposed to come out of the ashes of the rejected transportation tax, Harper said no.