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HB 170 as of 2/24/15

Well, it is changing again (and this is still in the House Version, we don’t have a clue what the Senate might do).  BUT!  I must say, the current version in the House is good for Hawkinsville.   The School’s ESPLOST will now be unaffected!    No losses for the school system in the current version. The only stipulation is that taxes that are received from Motor Fuels, MUST be spent in the area of Transportation, but the definition is pretty broad.   The City and County’s SPLOST (and Future SPLOSTS) are unaffected, with only the same stipulation – Motor Fuel taxes must be spent on Transportation.   The City and County’s LOST taxes will see an INCREASE in revenue.  Although Motor Fuels are being removed, the rest of the sales tax base will be taxed at 1.25% rather than 1%, so it will be a NET gain to the combined CITY/COUNTY of almost $80,000.

Hotel/Motel Taxes are also being slightly adjusted upward in the current version.  I don’t really understand why.

And as mentioned in an earlier post, the current version of this bill will also FORCE a larger state allocation of LMIG (road resurfacing money).  Although we have to match (30%) of the LMIG allocation, this WILL allow us to resurface additional miles in the years to come.

So….    Although the fat lady has not even gotten up to sing yet, the current version IS good for Hawkinsville.

(I am NOT making any such overall statements about whether this bill is good for GEORGIANS or not.  Any way you slice it, it IS a tax increase on gasoline purchases in Georgia).



The Hawkinsville Dual Bridges

Hawkinsville is a great, small, community located in Middle Georgia.   The Golden Isles parkway goes right through the middle of our wonderful town.   While most cities on Highway 341 have been bypassed, due to the location of our dual bridges, Hwy 341 comes right through the middle of our town.

Currently we have two bridges that are 1 city block apart from each other.   The “Commerce Street” bridge handles the northbound (inbound) traffic coming from Eastman, Ga.   The “Broad Street” bridge handles the southbound (outgoing) traffic going toward Eastman.   It has been this way since the late 1950’s.
Our downtown is located on Commerce Street which was the “main” street during the 50’s.   Due to the dual bridge situation, and the increase in traffic that resulted on Broad Street, that street has also developed into a major business district as well.  In fact, today, Broad Street carries the heaviest traffic burden.    Commerce Street handles about 40-45% of the volume that Broad Street currently handles.
We became aware of a DOT proposal this summer.   They are proposing that both bridges be torn down and that the Broad Street bridge be replaced with a 4 lane incoming & outgoing bridge.     The city leadership and the majority of the citizens of Hawkinsville are very much AGAINST this proposal.  In fact, the City Commissioners voted UNANIMOUSLY to oppose this plan.    We are in opposition of this plan for 3 primary reasons: Read the rest of this entry
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