Georgia’s top road-builder spent big on push for transportation bill

Campaign reports show Georgia’s top road contractor boosted the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s push for a $1 billion transportation bill during the 2015 legislative session.

C.W. Matthews this week reported contributing $50,000 in February to the Georgia Transportation Alliance, the chamber’s arm promoting spending increases on road, bridge and rail projects to ease traffic congestion.

The Marietta company had contributed at least $200,000 to the alliance in recent years, and it had good reasons to support the chamber’s effort.

A review of state records by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that the company was paid about $1.1 billion for work by the Department of Transportation from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2014, making it by far Georgia’s busiest state-funded road contractor.

The law that took effect Wednesday raises the state’s motor fuel tax and eliminates a tax credit for electric vehicles, making owners of those cars pay a new annual fee. It also raises hotel/motel taxes by $5. The measure is supposed to raise about $1 billion a year for transportation projects.

C.W. Matthews is traditionally a major donor to Georgia’s political elites. It has contributed about $30,000 to Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaigns and more than $30,000 to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s campaigns.

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