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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.