Baldwin County joining the "Eight Percenters"


Baldwin County is joining a not-so-exclusive club – the Eight Percenters.

The local sales tax rate will increase from 7 percent to 8 percent on April 1, putting Baldwin County in line with most counties around the state. The sales tax rate soon will be 8 percent in more than 60 percent of Georgia counties (99-out-of-159), including nearby Bibb, Laurens, Putnam and Washington.

For whatever it's worth, Muscogee (Columbus) is the only Georgia county with a 9 percent sales tax rate, while three counties are still at 6 percent (Cherokee, Cobb and Gwinnett).

The increase in Baldwin County follows last year's TSPLOST referendum, which passed with 74 percent of the vote. Turnout for the TSPLOST referendum was predictably low. Out of the 25,904 registered voters in Baldwin County, 23,039 of them didn't vote. The final tally was 2,120 "yes" votes and 742 "no" votes.

The penny-on-the-dollar TSPLOST soon will join Baldwin County's other penny-on-the-dollar sales taxes –Local, Educational and SPLOST. The other four cents, meanwhile, go to the state government.

TSPLOST revenues will be divvied up between the county commission and the Milledgeville City Council. The county government previously released its list of "county roads" that would benefit from TSPOST, hitting many of the high notes, like Lake Laurel Road and Log Cabin Road. County Manager Carlos Tobar said that the goal is either to resurface every road on the list and in some cases repair the road base prior to resurfacing.

"You have to make sure that the base is solid before you resurface," he said.

Below is the list of county roads...

It's an ambitious list, but Tobar said that he's "pretty confident" that every road on the list can be completed within the five-year timeframe. Tobar added that the county also would utilize Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) money from the state, which is basically a 50-50 match from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

So, which roads on the list would be fixed first? If TSPLOST passes, Tobar said that the county commissioners will "prioritize" the list. Tobar added that it likely would be "prioritized" by some combination of the most traveled roads and the roads most in need of repair


CLICK HERE to view City Hall's "street resurfacing ratings" list. It's an especially long list (11 pages worth), and there's a lot to read. While perusing, keep in mind that the higher the "rating number," the sooner that that stretch of road will be repaired.

^^^CLICK HERE for more!

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