The Georgia State Transportation Board last Friday voted 9 to 2 to rescind a prior decision that would have changed the way the Georgia Department of Transportation conducts its accounting practice, a spokeswoman said.
The vote means GDOT will maintain its current accounting practices in line with other state agencies. However, it’s unclear if the state will still refinance $424.4 million of transportation debt.
After the board — which oversees GDOT — decided to change the accounting practices, Gov. Sonny Perdue pulled the plug on the planned refinancing of Series 2001 and 2003 revenue bonds issued by the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority. He said the deal could not go forward because the new accounting practice violated state law.
The board had voted to implement a practice of using cash flow to fund its construction program, as many states do, so GDOT could enter multi-year financial obligations and contracts. Such a practice would have allowed the agency to plan for the funding of more projects.
However, there is no provision in Georgia law that allows the use of that accounting practice. And the governor said the refinancing could not go forward because of the uncertainty created by the Transportation Board’s action.
After the controversy erupted, the board called a special meeting last Friday and abandoned plans to change its accounting practice. Perdue has not responded to the decision, nor has the state announced if it will proceed with the refinancing.