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What Is Your Take on ESPLOST (Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax )


What Is Your Take on ESPLOST (Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax )

What is an ESPLOST?


An ESPLOST is a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for education. It is a one-cent sales tax on all retail purchases. This means that everyone who makes a purchase in the school district county, including visitors, contributes to the support of local schools.

School

Rank

Number of Students

Percentile

District

88

198

56%

High

219

429

40%

Middle

190

567

41%

South

359

1244

68%

North

578

1244

49%

Hartwell

754

1244

36%

 

The proposed ESPLOST has vague wording with no specific projects identified.


1. $30,580,000 over five years.

2. Acquiring miscellaneous new equipment, fixtures, and furnishings for the school system, including HVAC equipment, technology equipment, software, computer tablets, laptops, and safety and

security equipment.

3. Expanding, replacing, renovating, repairing, improving, and equipping existing school buildings and school system facilities, including, playgrounds, athletic facilities, and administrative office

facilities.

4. Acquiring, constructing, and equipping new school buildings and school system facilities, including athletic facilities, technological facilities, academic facilities, administrative office facilities, parking

facilities, and transportation and maintenance facilities.

5. Acquiring and improving land for school system facilities.

6. Acquiring school buses and transportation and maintenance equipment.

7. Acquiring books, digital resources, and other media for the school system.

8. Issue $7, 000,000 bonds and pay the interest and any issuance fees.


 

Talking points from HCPOA


1. Your HCPOA supported the construction of the College & Career Academy and the

Agriculture Center.

  • We are proud of the apparent success of the C& CA.

  • We are sorely disappointed in the lack of utilization of the Ag Center – probably the most underutilized building in Hart County.

2. Where is the value or return on investment of the $90 Million spent over the last 5

ESPLOSTS?

  • There has been no academic improvement beyond the mid-point of Georgia school ranking.

3. Obviously, the funds of the current ESPLOST 5 have not yet been spent as the school is

advertising for constructing a “Multi-Sport Athletic Building,” whatever that is?

  • Why are additional funds needed?

4. The school’s administrative staff is bloated and growing, now they want and

“Administration Building.”

5. The schools just bought the land. They never revealed what it is to be used for and how

much was paid for it.

  • Now they want to buy more land

6. Did we not renovate the school building under ESPLOST 5 and earlier ESPLOSTS?

7. What would happen if this ESPLOST proposition failed?

  • Essentially nothing except a delay

  • Hart County would benefit from a 15-month break on sales taxes worth approximately $7-8 M into the local economy.

8. Why do you want this money now?

  • The Director of Operations stated twice in 2022, “don’t let the taxpayers get used to not paying this tax.”

9. The schools have an insatiable appetite for money

  • They benefited from the exploding tax digest to the tune of $750,000

  • The operating budget increased to $40 Million raised with an artificially high millage

10. They figured that a new ESPLOST would raise $30 Million and then dreamed up projects

to spend the money on.

 

What is your take on ESPLOST? Comment Below.

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