Important transportation bills gain approval in the House

On Thursday, March 5th two important transportation bills passed the Georgia House of Representatives and were forwarded to the State Senate for consideration.

HB 170, the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, was approved by the House on a 123-46 vote after 2 amendments and a motion to table were defeated. HB 170 proposes conversion of the state’s current 4% motor fuel sales tax, to an excise tax of 29.2 cents per gallon, which can be adjusted annually based on vehicular fuel efficiencies. While the bill repeals the $5,000 tax credit for the purchase of new electric vehicles it provides a more consistent, dedicated revenue source to address the state’s transportation needs and deficiencies. The revised version of the bill allows existing local SPLOSTs to continue to the expiration, but requires future SPLOST proceeds from motor fuels to be used for transportation purposes.

HB 213, an amendment to the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965, also passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 144-19. House Bill 213 suspends the limitation on MARTA that no more than 50 of the Authority’s annual proceeds may be used to fund the system’s operating costs, subject to the completion of an independent audit every four years.

Both bills now move to the Senate for consideration.