The Tom Warne Report, 8 September 2011
Georgia – A special session aimed at deciphering the state’s legislative district maps also covered two questions on transportation issues in Georgia. Lawmakers approved a freeze on the fuel tax which Gov. Nathan Deal decided on in June to help consumers save money at the pumps, thus forgoing an increase scheduled for the first of July. The freeze was approved by the House and Senate to continue through the end of the year. The freeze will cost the state an estimated $40 million in revenue, which would have been spent on roads. The state has not indicated how the revenue will be made up. This is the third time in six years that the state’s taxes on fuel have been frozen.
Another measure addressed by lawmakers, also proposed by the governor, was HB3EX to move 12 scheduled votes on transportation referendums. Deal wanted the vote on a 1-cent sales tax to fund a pre-determined list of transportation projects in their region to be moved from the 2012 presidential primary ballot on July 31 to the Nov. 6 general elections. Republican leaders were unable to come to a consensus on the election date and decided to suspend consideration of the change, which the governor said would encourage participation because more voters typically vote in a general election.