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SPLOST Watch
SPLOST Watch

SPLOST or ESPLOST is a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

(ESPLOST is for Education)

       

Question: What is a SPLOST?

A Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax allows local school districts the option to ask voters for the ability to levee and collect a one percent sales tax to help fund school improvements. It can be used to pay for capital projects or to retire debt, but cannot be used to pay operating expenses, such as salaries or utility costs.

Question: Why can SPLOST money not be used for teacher salaries?

State laws prohibit using SPLOST proceeds for salaries. However, passing this sales tax referendum would allow the school system to redirect funds to meet its required financial obligations. 

Question: Is the SPLOST a property tax?

The SPLOST is not a property tax; it is a sales.

Question: Does SPLOST provide benefits to all Butts County taxpayers?

It provides a method of funding the cost of educational improvements that Butts County taxpayers, not just property owners, contribute to. Additionally, the sales tax is paid by everyone who shops in Butts County including the numerous vehicles that purchase fuel along I-75 in Butts County. Butts County has the largest tax collection based on fuel sales in the state of Georgia at 53%--- that translates into a healthy SPLOST contribution by visitors!!!

Question: Why would people who do not have children in school support the SPLOST?

Children are not the only ones who benefit from good schools. The social and economic strength of the community are GREATLY influenced by the school system. Good schools mean well-prepared citizens, a strong labor market, and an inviting atmosphere for living and working. One of the key questions asked by industrial/commercial or residential prospects looking to move into a community is, "What is the quality of the schools?"

Question: Is the tax permanent?

No. The tax will only be in effect for five years or until $25,000,000 is collected, whichever comes first.

Question: What does the ballot say?

"Shall the special one percent (1%) sales and use tax for educational purposes currently in effect in Butts County be continued for a period of time not to exceed 20 calendar quarters and for the raising of not more than $25,000,000 for the purposes of (a) retiring debt service on the Butts County School District General Obligation Bonds, Series 2007 due on September 1, 2012, and (b) funding the following capital outlay projects: (i) rehabilitating, repairing, renovating, extending and improving Jackson High School, Henderson Middle School, Daughtry Elementary School, Jackson Elementary School and Stark Elementary School, including without limitation, additional classrooms, physical education and athletic facilities, roof replacement and repairs, mechanical system repairs and replacements, and wiring infrastructure modifications; (ii) additional parking and paving at School District facilities; (iii) acquiring and installing system wide instructional and administrative technology, safety and security equipment; (iv) acquisition of school buses, vehicles and transportation and maintenance equipment; (v) acquisition of music, vocational, and physical education/athletic equipment; (vi) acquiring textbooks; (vii) renovating or adding to existing administrative facilities; (viii) acquiring any necessary property, both real and personal; and (ix) paying costs incident to accomplishing the foregoing?"

"The maximum cost of the capital outlay projects for educational purposes described in the above ballot question to be funded with Special 1% Tax proceeds, including interest, capitalized interest, principal, and costs of issuance on the general obligation debt to be incurred, shall be $25,000,000. To the extent available, the Butts County School District may combine available funds from any state or federal governmental source to which the Butts County School District may be entitled to pay the costs of its capital outlay projects, and it may choose what capital outlay projects to undertake or not undertake or to delay until additional funding is available to the extent that the proceeds of the Special 1% Tax and general obligation debt are insufficient to complete any of the capital outlay projects."

"Depending upon acquisition and construction costs and available funds, the Butts County Board of Education may add to, modify, or delete specific projects."

Question: It seems that my child's school has many computers. Why do we need new computers in the schools?

Technology is one of those items constantly in need of updating, just like replacing your phone or your eyeglasses. They are designed to perform their functions for a specific period of time. However, after that time, they become less effective and eventually they are useless. That is why it is important to continue to refresh these classroom resources. Our technology plan currently calls for a "five-year refresh cycle," which means we keep computers a minimum of five to six years before they are replaced with new ones. The SPLOST funds provide the means to do this replacement without the cost falling completely in the laps of Butts County tax payers and property owners... since the state provides no technology funds.

Question: Why are technology items needed to teach students well?

The requirements for preparing students to be successful in today's job market are more diverse than any prior generation. The technology skills required are too. Therefore, it is important our students use those tools on a regular basis as a part of their learning process. Many of our students are now being tested on the computer, and that expectation is growing to include most all students. This exposure allows them to become as proficient with technology as they are with reading, writing and math. Our classrooms must mirror the world in which they live.

Question: What happens if the SPLOST does not pass?

If the SPLOST fails to pass, the proposed projects could not be accomplished without the expected revenue from the collection of the additional one-cent sales tax. To fund many of the projects and programs that are vital to our children without the SPLOST would be impossible. Without the passage of SPLOST, our children will be forced to attend aged schools that do not have the infrastructure, technology and equipment to support the programs they need to compete with their academic peers throughout the state, nation and around the globe. 

 

 


181 N. Mulberry St. | Jackson, GA 30233 | Phone: (770) 504-2300 | Fax: (770) 504-2305