SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Since 2010, the population in Chatham County has increased by tens of thousands, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This means more people will be driving on Georgia roads and across bridges.

At the bottom of Chatham County voters’ general election ballot is a referendum seeking enactment of a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST), giving voters the opportunity to vote for or against transportation improvements.

What is TSPLOST?

TSPLOST is a one-cent sales tax that would allow local governments to pay for transportation improvement projects for the next 5 years. The current minimum combined sales tax rate on purchases made in Chatham County is 7%. If TSPLOST is approved, the rate will rise to 8%.

Who Pays for TSPLOST?

T-SPLOST is not a property tax, nor will it affect citizens’ property taxes, but instead would be charged on goods purchased in Chatham County, regardless of where the purchaser lives. The tax will also be charged on online sales if the vendor is based in Chatham County. 

If TSPLOST is voted against, funds to make necessary improvements would come from Chatham County property taxes.

What would TSPLOST funds cover?

Various transportation-related capital improvement projects would be funded, such as roadwork (widening and painting), bridges, sidewalks, pedestrian and bike trails and public transportation

What current projects could be funded by TPLOST?

A list of current projects by the Chatham County Department of Engineering can be found here. The list includes rebuilding the existing two lanes on Little Neck Road between U.S. 17/Ogeechee Road and the Landfill Entrance just northwest of I-95.

The reconstruction will allow for a future four-lane section between U.S. 17 and I-95 to be built at a later date. The current reconstruction project will include additional lanes between U.S. 17 and Al Henderson Boulevard with a raised center median and a path on each side. The path on the southeast side of the road will continue about one and a half miles from U.S. 17.