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Proposed End to Sales Tax on Fuel Will Hurt Butts County

Posted on: February 11th, 2015

March 11, 2015 Update – A revised State Transportation Funding Bill (HB 170) passed the Georgia House of Representatives on March 5, 2015.  Our local representatives, Susan Holmes and Andy Welch, voted against the bill.  As passed, the bill will allow Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) to continue on fuels, but mandates that local governments spend the share of tax raised by fuel sales for transportation only .  Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) would cease to be collected on fuels in 2016 and would be raised from 1% to 1.25%.  This would not directly affect the Authority, but would reduce LOST funding to Butts County and its cities by approximately $1.5 million a year (based on CY 2014 sales).  The bill still has to be considered by the Georgia State Senate.  Our State Senator, Burt Jones, has called HB 170″tainted” and has promised to seek to fund Georgia’s transportation needs through other channels.  Burt is also a member of the Authority’s board of directors.  We appreciate his leadership!

February 10, 2015 – The Authority’s board of directors joined with  other local governments and authorities to adopt a joint resolution opposing the removal of local sales tax from motor fuels.  This has been proposed as part of the State Transportation Funding Bill (HB 170), which proposes to raise excise taxes on fuel to fund transportation projects.  Butts County currently gets over half of its local sales tax revenues from sales on gasoline and diesel fuel.  Removal of this source of funding would severely limit the Authority’s capability to expand its system to attract local economic development.  The Butts County water and sewer system has been built using a portion of Butts County’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).  Local governing bodies are urging State elected officials to consider other options for funding transportation needs.