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Ask the Times: Shedding some light on railroad crossings, half-mile markers, newspaper taxes
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

What’s with the half-mile markers on Interstate 985? I’ve just noticed them and wonder just how much tax money was spent on this and why? We all have odometers and many have GPS devices so why the signs?

The Georgia Department of Transportation has worked for the past 18 months to upgrade mile markers along interstates statewide, including adding markers. The more frequent markers were added to help emergency response times, DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said.

“Most callers requesting emergency assistance  ... do not know their location on the interstate,” she said. “It allows a quicker and more accurate response time during emergency medical situations.”

Who maintains railroad crossings? The crossing at Old Cornelia Highway and Moccasin Gap Road in Lula is more than awful. You can get a 360-degree whiplash here. ... It does not matter how slowly you go over. Who could fix this problem?

Pope said the railroad company is responsible for the tracks and the roadway approaching the tracks is the jurisdiction of the city or county where it is located, or the DOT if it is a state route.

In the case of this crossing, Banks County is responsible for the roadway and CSX is responsible for the tracks.

You can report problems with rough crossings to CSX by going to www.csx.com and hovering over “Community” at the top of the page and selecting “Contact us.”

An official with Banks County said workers have done some patching in that area, but any time drivers are concerned with a crossing, they can call 706-677-6800 to talk about a work order for the problem area.

What is the law in Georgia concerning sales tax on newspapers and why are our local stores not consistent with the law?
Sales taxes are levied on the sale of newspapers, but some stores opt not to charge that tax to the customer, Times General Manager Norman Baggs said. Those stores instead pay that cost themselves, absorbing it for the customer.
Newspaper companies pay the sales taxes on newspapers sold from racks because the racks won’t accept pennies.

Do you have a question you’d like our news team to answer? Contact us at:
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