Baldwin Co. voters turn down T-SPLOST that could have led to road improvements

    Baldwin County's Jefferson St. Bridge will be impassable to vehicles indefinitely after voters turned down a Transportation-Special Local Option Sales Tax that could have led to improvements to that project and others/Claudia Coco (WGXA)

    BALDWIN COUNTY, Ga. -- The tax that would have funded a number of transportation upgrades in Baldwin County was voted down this week.

    Voters turning down the Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) could affect drivers now, but some in the community said they didn't even know it was on the ballot until they got to the polls.

    Some people in Baldwin County said didn't know even what the T-SPLOST was before stepping in the ballot box.

    "I saw the ballot itself and it gave a little run through on what it was about," said Michael Hobbs. "It was a lot, and I was trying to rush on with my day so I was trying to get to work."

    Hobbs said it may not be entirely the county's fault. He was paying more attention to the bigger races. He said that he "heard nothing, but in all fairness was I really even listening for it even if it was there?"

    Baldwin County manager Carlos Tobar said the T-SPLOST would have paid for things like the Jefferson St. Bridge.

    "It didn't say that the bridge needed immediate attention, or it needed to be replaced. However now you can't drive on it," said Tobar.

    Tobar said the Georgia Department of Transportation is helping out, but can only do so much.

    "Back in 2010 the state told pretty much all the cities and counties, 'Look we can only help so much. You need to help yourselves'," he said.

    Tobar said that out of the 46 bridges in Baldwin County, only two have been built in this century. The T-SPLOST would have kept commissioners from taking money from the general fund.

    "I don't think the commissioners are willing to raise property taxes to help repair and replace our roads and bridges that everyone in this county uses, including our roads and visitors," he said.

    Community members told WGXA that they didn't for the T-SPLOST - they simply didn't want any more taxes.

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