Monroe County voters will decide on Tuesday, Nov. 5 whether to impose a local penny Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) that would raise local sales tax from 7 to 8 percent.

If approved, the TSPLOST would last five years beginning on April 1, 2020 and would be capped at $17 million for transportation needs. Monroe County would receive about $14.1 million (83.2 percent of the proceeds), the City of Forsyth would receive about $2.6 million (15 percent of the proceeds) and the City of Culloden will receive about $305,000 (1.8 percent of the proceeds.

County manager Jim Hedges and county road supervisor Junior Watts came up with 152.49 miles of county roads (or about 30 percent of total county road mileage) to be resurfaced using TSPLOST, 2020 SPLOST and Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) funds over the next six years. The total project cost was estimated at about $19 million. Of 152.49 miles slated for resurfacing, District 2 roads would account for 52.43 miles, District 4 would account for 41.05 miles, District 3 would account for 39.86 miles and District 1 would account for just 3.31 miles (many District 1 roads are maintained by the City of Forsyth). 

Voters soundly rejected a regional TSPLOST twice in the past seven years. When first introduced in 2012, the regional TSPLOST failed by a 66-34 percent margin in Monroe County and 56-44 percent across the Middle Georgia area. Then, in 2018, the regional TSPLOST failed again, this time by a 57-43 percent margin in Monroe County and a narrow 51-49 percent margin across Middle Georgia.