Frequently Asked Questions
What is a SPLOST for education?
- The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for education, also known as E-SPLOST, is a 1 cent sales tax on all retail sales in Stephens County
- The E-SPLOST is a sales tax, not a property tax.
- Everyone who makes a purchase in Stephens County, including visitors, contributes to the support of local schools.
- By law, an E-SPLOST can be used only for certain capital projects that support local schools. Such funds cannot be used for the day-to-day operational expenses of a school system.
The current E-SPLOST in Stephens County expires December 31, 2012. A referendum will be held November 8, 2011, to extend the tax another five years.
Is the proposed E-SPLOST a new tax? How long would the E-SPLOST be in effect?
- The E-SPLOST is not a new or additional tax.
- The current sales tax will not increase.
- If approved by Stephens County voters, the 1 cent sales tax currently in place for schools would be continued for another five years.
How will funds be used if voters approve a continuation of the 1 cent sales tax for education?
Retirement of 2008/2009 Bond Series that helped fund the construction and renovation of the new SCHS, technology upgrades, and new buses.
- Retirement of the Quality School Construction Bonds that funded new roofs and other improvements at Big A Elementary, Toccoa Elementary, and Eastanollee Elementary.
To the extent that funds are available the Board proposes the following projects:
- Updating technology equipment
- New buses to replace aging ones
- Acquisition and/or replacement of system security, equipment and furnishings
- Repairing, renovating, extending and improving existing schools and facilities
How have E-SPLOST funds been used in the past to support schools?
- Stephens County voters first approved an E-SPLOST in 1998.
- Voters approved a continuation of the 1 cent sales tax for education on 2002 and 2006.
Guaranteed E-SPLOST revenues have helped the school system secure two forward funding, interest-free programs (QZAB and QSCB). Forward funding allow the school district to immediately start approved projects while paying back the bonds from monthly E-SPLOST earnings received over the 5 year approved E-SPLOST collection period.
Don’t local property taxes pay for school improvements?
- Property taxes pay for day-to-ay operations, such as teacher salaries, books, supplies, fuel for school buses, electricity, etc.