House offers compromise tax plan

ATLANTA - House leaders are offering a compromise plan to grease the skids on a transportation sales tax proposal that has been stuck in legislative gridlock.

A new version of a long-debated tax plan introduced Wednesday would allow counties the option to band together to levy a one-percent sales tax for infrastructure improvements if a 2010 constitutional amendment for a statewide transportation sales tax hike fails.

The proposal was designed to blend dueling plans that aim to solve Georgia's traffic woes. The Senate has long sought a plan that would allow counties to band together to impose the sales tax hike locally, while the House has stuck with a statewide sales tax hike.

But House leaders said they sought a compromise amid concerns that another legislative session could end with the two chambers miles apart on a transportation proposal.

'We think we've struck a great balance here by incorporating both ideas,' said House Majority Leader Jerry Keen. 'And we didn't want this session to end without this issue being resolved.'