Carter Infinger, Chairman Bryan County Commission
On May 24, 2022, Bryan County residents not only will select our political parties’ nominees for governor, but we will also have the opportunity to vote on the next Bryan County T-SPLOST initiative.
Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) is a 1% sales tax that specifically provides crucial funding for transportation improvements in the county in which it is collected, and it is paid by everyone that spends money in Bryan County. It is estimated that approximately two thirds of the total amount collected comes from those that live outside Bryan County. This is not a part of the tax on fuel that is levied by the state. The 2022 T-SPLOST is anticipated to collect over $70 million in 5 years due to increased economic activity that coincides with population growth. The total amount is divided among Bryan County, Richmond Hill, and Pembroke to maintain transportation infrastructure within those jurisdictions.
This will be Bryan County’s second T-SPLOST, as the law allowing single county T-SPLOST initiatives in Georgia was passed by the state legislature in 2018. The first T-SPLOST will end in September of 2022 with an estimated collection of $27,500,000. These dollars from the 2018 T-SPLOST have allowed us to stretch the annual budget for road paving three-fold by providing the match to state grants and fully funding the county’s road maintenance program. The recent improvements to the transportation network, including Belfast Keller and Belfast River, have been paid for with T-SPLOST. Additional improvements are currently being engineered and are budgeted with 2018 T-SPLOST funds. Those future improvements include roundabouts at Cranston Bluff and Belfast Keller, Oak Level and Belfast Keller, and Wilma Edwards and U.S. 280. Much of the dirt road maintenance equipment and sidewalks are also funded by T-SPLOST, including an upcoming sidewalk on Brisbon Road that will extend from Brisbon to Timber Trail along a walking bridge over Sterling Creek. Many residents have expressed concern that this is a dangerous area for pedestrians, and we are moving as quickly as possible on this project in order to create a safe route across the creek for students and park goers.
T-SPLOST is an important tool that allows the County to get ahead of growth instead of reacting to what has already been built. Furthermore, T-SPLOST reduces the dependence on property taxes, which have been rolled back each year since T-SPLOST was passed. The proposed 2022 T-SPLOST will continue planned improvements throughout the county that are designed to move residents, visitors, goods, and service providers efficiently and safely, whether on foot or on wheels, and I am happy to help lead the charge as chairman. I thank you for allowing me to serve.
Infinger is chairman of the Bryan County Commission.