Georgia law allows local communities to use Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) proceeds for transportation purposes if approved by voters in a referendum. General guidelines for projects are below, see Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A) 48-8-260(5) for more details.
• 'Transportation purposes' includes roads, bridges, public transit, rails, airports, buses, and all accompanying infrastructure and services necessary to provide access to these facilities.
• Roads, streets, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and bridge purposes such as:
acquisition of rights of way;
renovation and improvement, including resurfacing;
relocation of utilities;
improvement of surface-water drainage; and/or
patching, leveling, milling, widening, shoulder preparation, culvert repair, and other repairs necessary for their preservation.
• Stormwater and drainage capital outlay projects, in conjunction with transportation projects
These transportation projects would otherwise be paid for with General Fund and property tax revenues. Governments cannot use TSPLOST funds to pay for operating expenses such as personnel salaries or ongoing expenses.
If voters approve a TSPLOST 2018 program on November 7, 2017, sales tax collection will begin in April 2018 as an additional sales tax on the current sales tax. The new TSPLOST sales tax will be 1%, making Athens-Clarke County's total sales tax 8% if the referendum is approved.