The Cherokee County School Board at its regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 16, reviewed plans for renewing the education penny sales tax known as the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, according to a press release.
The Cherokee County School District, for the past 24 years, has used a 1-percent Education SPLOST to fund capital improvement projects, which include constructing new schools and facilities and renovating existing ones; funding technology infrastructure; buying school buses; and purchasing land for future schools.
Voters will decide on Nov. 2 if that tax is to continue.
The proposed maximum of $290 million in new bonds would be issued over a five-year period (2023-2027), and this “mortgage” would be paid in full by August 2038. The proposed project list also would generate an additional $43.56 million in State reimbursements for CCSD based on Georgia’s public school construction funding formula.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower noted that, including the Ed SPLOST, the county’s total sales tax is a competitive 6% -- the lowest in Georgia. If property taxes were used instead of the Ed SPLOST, it would require an immediate increase of 5 mills on every tax bill … and all new construction, technology updates and bus purchases would come to a halt.