Transportation bill sent back to committee for more work

A plan to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for transportation was sent back to its committee Tuesday, a move the bill’s sponsor said will allow for further changes.

Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, sponsor of House Bill 170, said he has revisions ready to be made and that the bill could reach the House floor as soon as Monday.

HB 170 has already undergone major changes since it was first introduced in late January. Most of the changes deal with how cities and counties tax motor fuel. Left intact is a plan to replace the state’s sales tax on gasoline with a 29.2 cents per gallon excise tax.

Capitol insiders with direct knowledge of the coming changes, who were not authorized to speak on the record, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the changes are designed to please both the Georgia Municipal Association and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. GMA has been a vocal critic of the bill, while ACCG at one point endorsed it but later raised new concerns.

Roberts told the AJC his committee will likely meet Wednesday to consider the changes. That would put the bill before the Rules Committee on Thursday for possible floor debate Monday.

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