We all see that state funding is shrinking around us. Gasoline prices keep going up, school classrooms keep getting larger, and supply money for our teachers is reduced to nearly nothing. And when it comes to our transportation needs, state funding is drying up there too. There simply is no funding available for local projects, like our Ports Parkway. With the Savannah Harbor deepening project coming, it is a sure bet that truck traffic on Highway 21 will just keep getting heavier and heavier.
The good news is that this July 31, Effingham County citizens will have an opportunity to vote in a penny sales tax that will be dedicated solely to enhancing Effingham County highway and road projects. And this is a sales tax that everyone who travels on I-95 and stops to buy food and gas will help pay. What’s more, we are one of the counties that will actually realize more money than goes in from our county.
If this were to be done in the traditional way of raising the motor fuel tax to fund these projects, it would have to be raised to over 25 cents a gallon. It’s clear which funding method is more palatable. And remember that every dollar collected in our region stays right here in our region. Effingham County stands to receive over $140 million over the 10-year life of this collection. Additionally Effingham County would realize $3 million in discretionary funds which the county and our cities could use for projects like new construction, gateway projects, road maintenance, signals and signs and anything else transportation related. And remember, there is no other money currently available to fund these projects.
If you are in favor of seeing our county grow in the coming decade, vote yes on this referendum. And talk to your neighbors and business connections. The Effingham Chamber will be promoting this throughout the county and is looking for opportunities to speak to local civic, church, and other groups about the importance of this vote.
We are also now soliciting donations to help defray promotional expenses. If you are interested in contributing, call or email Rick Lott at the Chamber at 754-3301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effingham Chamber of Commerce