TSPLOST de­ci­sion

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE -

Ca­toosa County of­fi­cials have ap­proved putting a new trans­porta­tion tax on the bal­lot in the spring, giv­ing res­i­dents the op­por­tu­nity to vote on the pro­posed 1-per­cent tax.

The Trans­porta­tion Spe­cial Pur­pose Lo­cal Op­tion Sales Tax is a way for the county to bring in a pro­jected $60 mil­lion in rev­enue over the next five years to help pay for trans­porta­tion work on roads and bridges.

The ap­proval came Tues­day night, Dec. 18, dur­ing a Board of Com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing. The ref­er­en­dum vote will be on a spe­cial elec­tion bal­lot on March 19.

Over the past cou­ple of months, com­mis­sion­ers have met with of­fi­cials from the cities of Ring­gold and Fort Oglethorpe and ul­ti­mately hashed out a 70/20/10 split of the pro­jected funds.

That break­down would equate to $42 mil­lion for Ca­toosa County, $12 mil­lion for Fort Oglethorpe, and $6 mil­lion for Ring­gold.

All three gov­ern­ments met for a joint town hall meet­ing Nov. 29, but very few res­i­dents showed up to ask ques­tions about the mat­ter. Dur­ing the “ap­pear­ances” por­tion of Tues­day night’s (Dec. 18) meet­ing how­ever, three res­i­dents spoke up against the pro­posed tax. Res­i­dent Roger Nel­son ar­gued that the tax adds price to food rather than the fuel that is ac­tu­ally used for trans­porta­tion, and that the tax could be a bur­den for those on fixed in­comes.

“It’s ab­so­lutely not a trans­porta­tion user tax be­cause no tax is go­ing to be col­lected on gaso­line or fuel, so it’s not a user tax,” Nel­son opined. “It ab­so­lutely is an in­crease on the food tax. This in­crease will be the clas­sic, re­gres­sive tax that hits our se­nior cit­i­zens, low-in­come, and fixed-in­come res­i­dents the hard­est.”

Res­i­dent Cherise Miller said her big­gest is­sue is the cost in­volved with hold­ing a spe­cial elec­tion for one item.

/ Adam Cook

Ca­toosa County’s Board of Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion Tues­day night, Dec. 18, set­ting up a trans­porta­tion tax vote for March 19. Pic­tured: Com­mis­sioner Jim Cut­ler (left) and Chair­man Steven Henry.

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