The much-debated transportation bill has lurched forward, with the Georgia House passing an amended version of the measure 123-45. While small changes have taken the estimated revenue generation potential below the $1 billion mark, estimates still put the figure at a respectable $900 million. To get there, the bill calls for the removal of current gas taxes in favor of a flat 29.2 cent per gallon excise tax. To capture revenue from electric car owners, the bill also calls for a $200 annual fee for electric vehicles and eliminates state tax credits for the cars, which have helped propel Atlanta to number two nationally in electric-car ownership. With the bill heading to the Senate, it's time to hear what you think about it.
While many were optimistic that the bill would support public transit in addition to road and bridge infrastructure, it seems a large portion of that support has been gutted. With a backlog of between $1 and $1.5 billion in transportation projects, legislators decided it was really time to get something done. Despite best efforts by Majority Leader Larry O'Neal (R-Bonaire) and Majority Whip Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) to amend the bill and reduce funding to $500 million, other Republicans said "enough is enough," with Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming) going so far as to call the last seven years of inaction "the reason [roads and bridges] are in such bad shape." However, is this going to be a case of too little too late? And does the lack of substantial transit funding make you want to punch yourself in the face? Or do you just not care?
· Georgia House passes comprehensive transportation funding bill [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Billion Dollar Bill Moves Forward. Will Transit Tag Along? [Curbed Atlanta]