Take a drive down any of the state’s major highways during peak travel times and it’s easy to see that one of the most vital issues facing Georgia in the future is transportation.
For years, the General Assembly has juggled the issue of transportation, desperately trying to do more with less, proposing impossible boondoggle ideas, imagining public transit that never materializes or just ignoring the issue and hoping things will fix themselves.
Instead, things are more broken than ever and state lawmakers are looking to try something else.
Their current plan, still in a nascent state as it goes through committee meetings, would increase gasoline excise taxes, with plans to use the extra funds for new roads and transit fixes.
But the plan also has the side effect of stepping on the toes of local officials, as it takes away the power of municipalities to tax fuel through local sales taxes.
Loganville council members are already up in arms over the proposed changes, and allegations of power grabs and overstepping bounds are likely to start flying.
Still, it’s hard to know what will happen. The bill may die in committee, or come out so transformed it’s an entirely new policy.
Here’s hoping transportation fixes can happen without hurting local interests.