Despite predictions of a busy legislative session in Atlanta, local political leaders say there is very little specific legislation drawing their attention.
The Georgia General Assembly opened its 40-day session last week.
“There’s not any specific legislation I am following for the county,” said Commissioner Jason Winters. “There has been talk about a law giving Superior Court judges a raise. We need to keep an eye on that because what we pay the judges affects what we pay other positions – like DA – as well. That could cost us some money.”
Improving the state’s transportation infrastructure has been one of the most talked about issues leading into the current General Assembly session.
Chattooga County and its municipalities receive about $450,000-500,000 a year from the state in gas tax revenue. However, according to Winters, the county puts more than $700,000 into the fund.
“Like a lot of counties we lose money,” said Winters.
In discussions about transportation spending, the idea of raising the gas tax has surfaced.
Currently every gallon of gasoline sold in Georgia is taxed by federal, state and local governments. A typical gallon of regular (non-diesel) gasoline sold in Georgia includes an 18.4 cent federal tax, a 7.5 cent state tax, an additional 4 percent per gallon state tax and a 3 percent local tax which goes to the county.
In Chattooga County, two of every three cents of that local sales tax is dedicated to public education. The third penny goes to general government for operations.