By Carolyn Kramer
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) on May 4 signed into law a bill to increase transportation funding by $900 million per year, making it the fifth state in 2015 to increase recurring transportation revenue.
Highlights of the law include:
- Increasing the state gas tax to 26 cents-per-gallon and diesel to 29 cents-per-gallon;
- Indexing the new state gas tax rate to both the Corporate Average Fuel Economy and the Consumer Price Index;
- Removing the current 4 percent sales tax on all motor fuel;
- Instituting an annual $200 fee for non-commercial alternative fuel vehicles, and $300 for commercial alternative fuel vehicles;
- Eliminating the current $5,000 tax credit for new purchases or leases of electric cars;
- Creating a new annual highway impact fee for heavy trucks—$50 for vehicles 15,500- 26,000 lbs., and $100 for greater weights;
- Continuing Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) on motor fuel (capped at $3 per gallon), as long as the generated revenue is dedicated to transportation. Local governments would also be permitted to approve a sales tax up to 1 percent for transportation projects;
- Recapitalizing the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank to provide loans and grants to local governments for the purpose of transportation construction projects; and
- Instituting a $5 per night hotel fee.