Council Supports House Transportation Funding Bill with Testimony

This is the Legislative Week 6, 2015 Edition of the Council’s “Under the Gold Dome,” a weekly publication covering the 2015 Georgia General Assembly Session.  As a reminder, this publication comes out each Friday during the Session.
The main focus for the Council this week was once again the transportation funding legislation.
The House Transportation Committee heard on Thursday, February 12th, but did not take a vote on the substitute version of   House Bill 170, the transportation funding bill.
Highlights of the substitute include:
  • Conversion of the Sales Tax on Motor Fuel to an Excise Tax, adjusted annual to keep pace with fuel efficiency of vehicles;
  • Phases out all local sales taxes on motor fuel (through local SPLOSTs) after their current levy. This allows local governments to honor their bond obligations and delivery of projects already approved by their voters.
  • Repeals the $5,000 tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles.
Council Chairman Tim Lowe provided testimony before the House Committee in support of the legislation that funds much of the $1.5 billion needed for transportation and infrastructure.
Chairman Lowe told the Committee, 

“As part of our legislative package, approved by our Board of Directors, we have Transportation as a top Priority, as the Council has been engaged in the transportation discussion for many years, and currently on the Board of the Georgia Transportation Alliance. 


As an organization, the Council has pledged to support recommendations by the Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding and to support funding mechanisms that fully fund multi-year transportation and infrastructure needs.  We believe that the solution to transportation funding will not be found in a single silver bullet, but will take a multi-pronged approach to address the $1.5 billion dollar critical need to maintain the state’s 4,200 bridges, road maintenance and enhancement and expansion of our current transit systems.


Let’s face it; transportation and economic development are linked.  Georgia citizens need to understand that it is going to take all of us to sacrifice a little to achieve the funding needs we have that will continue to keep this state, with the world’s busiest airport and 4th largest port, as well as the #1 place to do business competitive. 


We believe the combination resources provided for within the legislation is the right approach to begin fully funding our transportation needs. I can commit to you that the Council, our Board of Directors and our over 250 company members stand by to support you and our local governments, as we continue to work on a multi-faceted solution that will keep Georgia moving forward.  The Council for Quality Growth thanks you for your leadership on this issues and please do not hesitate to call on us for assistance and support.”

As the AJC reported, “Those supporting the bill Thursday included the Council of Quality Growth, the Georgia Transportation Alliance and the Georgia Economic Developers Association.”  

To read the full AJC coverage, Click HERE.

To continue to keep Georgia as a the leading state for new business,  as this bill continues to move forward through the General Assembly, we are asking Council members to contact their legislators. Let them know the development community stands by to support them as they address this issue and make the tough decision. When elected officials hear from Council Members, those who are in the weeds daily in economic development, that truly makes a difference.


The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has established a simple Action Center Page, which allows the business and development community representatives to send a quick message of support to their State Representative and Senator.  To utilize this convenient and easy website, click HERE.

The House and Senate have set a schedule that has the legislature in Tuesday – Friday next week ending at Legislative Day 19 on Friday.  “Crossover Day” Day 30 is set for March 13th with the current schedule set to “Sine Die” Day 40 on April 2nd.  To view the full legislative schedule, click HERE