Department of Transportation meeting highlights TIA tax dollar program

Department of Transportation meeting highlights TIA tax dollar program

It's a tax we all pay every time we buy anything.

"It's just a one cent increase in your sales tax program, it's an added tax to your sales tax,"  said Don Grantham, Department of Transportation District Board Member.

It's the TIA tax, a ten year road improvement program voted into law back in 2012. If you see road construction in the CSRA, there's a good chance your TIA money is helping pay for it.

"When you see your neighborhood streets getting repaved that's TIA money along with state funds we are granted each year," said Matt Schlachter, Columbia County Director of Engineering.

Matt Schlachter is leading the construction engineering behind now one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.

"We're the 29th fastest growing[county] in the nation, which is the top one percent in the nation of growing communities so we experience a lot of growth, about 3 1/2 to 4 percent of growth per year," said Schlachter.

The TIA money is helping Columbia County plan out these major road construction projects. Right now most of them are in the second band of projects, but projects like the Wrightsboro Road widening and the Riverwatch parkway expansion are already under construction in the first band of projects. These first band of projects will all be under construction by the end of the year.

Schlachter reiterated that with the construction we see now, we are going to see even more, years down the road.

"It's a lot of work that happens behind the scenes before you see any dirt moving so I know people probably get frustrated so we have all this tax money but what is being done? It's behind the scenes work before we hit the ground," said Schlachter.