ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The following is a Guest Editorial by Lisa Davis, the Vice-President of the Lee County Development Authority.
As Vice President of the Lee County Development Authority, I must say that Lee County has been blessed especially over the last 15 years where we have experienced a 350% increase in our local tax base. Not only do these retail investments produce property tax dollars which holds down taxes on our homes, but this also brings in Local Option Sales Tax Dollars.
This success cannot be totally contributed to luck as our Commissioners over the years have wisely invested in new roads which have created opportunities for commercial investments. Walmart would not be in Lee County if Ledo Road was still dirt as it was in the early 90’s. Needless to say, a viable Transportation System is important to economic development and shorter drive times are very important to potential retail investors. This brings up another subject.
Lee County presently has over 200 miles of paved roads, plus over 200 miles of dirt roads, that are badly in need of maintenance. It costs about $110,000 to resurface one mile of an existing paved road which translates into Lee County needing in the neighborhood of $22 million over the next 10 years to save our existing roads.
On November 6th our Lee County Citizens will be asked to approve an additional 1% local option sales tax which will raise a projected $19 million.
A lot of our roads are beyond patching, so if approved we can fund this maintenance with a fair tax rather than experiencing an increase in taxes on our homes. I would also like to mention that all of these funds raised from our TSPLOST will remain in Lee County with much of these sales taxes collected from non Lee County residents, plus this sales tax will not increase our gasoline prices.
Lee County is only one of a hand full of Rural counties throughout Georgia which has and is projected to experience population growth. I would like to encourage all citizens of Lee County to join me in supporting our TSPLOST on the November 6th ballot so that we can continue this growth.