Yesterday, Governor Deal announced the end of tolls on GA 400 by the end of next year (Dec. 2013). In all of the hype surrounding this obvious attemtpt to sway the July 31st vote on T-SPLOST, a pertinent fact seems to have been overlooked. The Governor's "proposal" requires approval by the State Road and Toll Authority, the appointed (not elected) board that oversees the GA 400 toll process. How do we know that the Authority is going to go along with what the Governor proposes?
Other questions remain unanswered. Where will the money come from to pay off the bonds? What is the amount of the bond payoff? The 2010 bond issue was a reported $40M. The toll authority reportedly collects on average $60,000 a day on GA 400. In the 17 months remaining between now and December 2013, the authority would collect a little over $30M in tolls.
If the Governor's proposal is to be believed, a more thorough accounting of the money is in order. Furthermore, in 2010 the citizens were told that the State could not afford to lose the revenue stream from the GA 400 tolls, thus the toll was continued for another 10 years. So, what will happen in the happy event that the T-SPLOST tax is defeated by the voters? Where then will the State get the money they so desperately needed in 2010.