Early voting begins on October 17 and in this year’s November election, the voters of Chatham County are being asked to vote YES for the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST). As representatives of our business community, we ask for your support in passing TSPLOST. Learn more about TSPLOST here.
TSPLOST is a penny sales tax that, over a five-year period, could provide over $420 million dollars of local funds for transportation projects, and only transportation projects, in Chatham County and all eight of its municipalities.
It is estimated that about 35% of the TSPLOST funds raised will be from people who live outside of Chatham County. Meaning visitors to our communities and the non-residents who work in Chatham County, even those just passing through, will help improve safety, reduce traffic, and prepare for the future growth our county will see. Currently, the cities and counties rely heavily on property tax for these. TSPLOST eases that burden on us, the residents and the businesses that make Savannah thrive.
Throughout this year, the elected officials worked together to compile a project list that addressed the concerns of voters and planners. Those needs, such as traffic calming, room for continued growth, and ensuring we maintain or improve quality of life, are reflected in the project list, such as the more than $20 million specifically for the construction of sidewalks and trails. Because the rising tide floats all boats, those same leaders worked together to include several multi-jurisdictional projects that will benefit numerous communities all while providing cost savings. Those include the widening of Little Neck Road, and improvements to the Truman Parkway and Highway 17, among others. As a community, we are strongest when we are united in purpose. These multi-jurisdictional projects are necessary and needed.
TSPLOST will also give local governments the ability to address deteriorating road conditions by including over $48 million in resurfacing, again in every part of the county. But perhaps the greatest benefit of TSPLOST is to enable our local leaders to leverage the penny tax for federal matching funds. Such funding includes a much-needed fix to the ever-present annoyance of train delays at the Presidents Street railroad overpass. Match funding would be used for the improvements to the I-95 Airways/Pooler Parkway interchange which benefits our visitors flying in as well as the numerous Gulfstream employees if TSPLOST passes. A leveraged penny can become so much more to meet the needs of our community.
As your economic development and business leaders, we have worked to bring growth to Savannah while also diligently sustaining the sectors of business, and the lifestyle, that make up the core of our community. Georgia Southern University is projecting growth that surpasses any that is seen so far in both residential and work populations. Common sense tells us this is true after the recent announcement of the development of the mega-site in Bryan County and the Savannah-Chatham Manufacturing Center. All projects are brought to fruition by a penny tax.
While TSPLOST adds a bit more to our sales tax, the great return far exceeds the investment, especially when so many paying the tax are not residents. TSPLOST is less traffic, safer streets, more sidewalks, improved trails, and better roadway drainage. Perhaps most importantly to many who work in a community other than where they live, simply less time commuting to work, or football practice, or school plays, and more time with family and friends.
Vote YES for TSPLOST ! For more information, check out www.TSPLOSTCHATHAM.com