T-SPLOST funding has to work for everyone

Published 6:00 pm Monday, April 29, 2019

Recently, the LaGrange City Council brought up the idea of a 1 percent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST.

It’s basically a sales tax used to fund capital projects for transportation purposes and would fund public transportation in Troup County. 

The tax, as discussed by the LaGrange City Council, would be countywide, and it would have to be initiated by the Troup County Commissioners.

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In this area of the county — specifically in West Point — we see the need for public transportation.

Some people don’t have cars and physically can’t ride a bike or walk to the grocery store or gas station.

A bus running back and forth to Kia would probably be useful, due to the number of people that work there on multiple shifts.

Likewise, transportation to the Emory Healthcare and WellStar West Georgia Medical Center doctors in LaGrange would likely prove beneficial to citizens who cannot drive for medical reasons.

With all that being said, we agree with West Point Mayor Steve Tramell that T-SPLOST would need to provide a sufficient benefit to West Point.

We understand the need for public transportation in LaGrange. There are almost 30,000 people in LaGrange, so we get the need there.

However, there are people in other parts of the county — away from that city-center — that need transportation as well, and that seems to be the point of Tramell’s concern.

Troup County Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Crews told The Valley Times-News that the county will probably host a meeting in May between all mayors and city managers to talk about possible projects that would be funded by a tax.

We think that’s a good idea and will provide a chance to make sure the tax would fairly benefit all of Troup County.   

It’s also important to note that voters would have to approve this tax, if it makes it as far as the November 2020 ballot.

A T-SPLOST could generate about $60 million throughout five years, according a LaGrange City Council estimate based on SPLOST revenue.

A lot of good could be done with that money, but residents of all of Troup County need to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck.