FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is an EDUCATION SPLOST (ESPLOST)?
An Education Special Purpose Location Option Sales Tax allows local districts to ask voters for the ability to levy and collect a one percent sales tax to help fund school facility and equipment improvements. It cannot be used to pay operating expenses, such as salaries. ESPLOSTs are enacted by referendum.
2. When is the ESPLOST vote?
Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The polls will be open from 7 am to 7 pm. Early voting begins October 14, 2019. The last day to register to vote is October 7, 2019.
3. Would the proposed ESPLOST be a tax increase?
NO! If approved, the sales tax would remain at its current level. A “yes” vote would simply extend the current 1% sales tax for education an additional two years or until $1.5 million has been collected, whichever comes first.
4. Why a 2 year SPLOST instead of a 5 year SPLOST?
The school system is currently undergoing a comprehensive facility review to study the conditions of our aging facilities. Information gathered will be used to prioritize our needs and determine future projects. A two year SPLOST allows the system to consider any recommendations as a result of the review.
5. Why an ESPLOST?
The ESPLOST is not a property tax. It provides a method of funding the cost of educational improvements that everyone, not just property owners, contributes to. Additionally, the sales tax is paid by everyone who shops in Clinch County.
6. What would the school system do with the money raised from the ESPLOST extension?
An ESPLOST extension allows the system to continue to make improvements and enhancements to school safety; provide students and employees with instructional and administrative technology devices and infrastructure; and provide for support functions such as school buses and maintenance equipment.
7. Why isn’t the money being used for teacher salaries and curriculum development?
State laws prohibit using ESPLOST proceeds for salaries.
8. Why should people who do not have children in school support the ESPLOST extension?
The ESPLOST extension helps keep ad valorem taxes stable. Additionally, the children are not the only ones who benefit from good schools. The social and economic strength of a community are greatly influenced by the school system.
9. Is the ESPLOST different from the Clinch County Commission SPLOST and TSPLOST?
Yes! The Education SPLOST is a special purpose tax approved by citizens for improvements of school facilities and equipment and to pay debt service. The County SPLOST is a special purpose tax designed to fund projects identified by the Clinch County Commissioners. The TSPLOST funds are designated for road projects and improvements
10. What would happen if the EPLOST did not pass?
Facility upgrades, safety enhancements, technology equipment, school buses, etc. would require additional property tax increases. Clinch County could miss out on Low Wealth Project Specific funding from the state, which could amount up to $36 million dollars, depending on the project.
11. Has the current ESPLOST been a success?
Yes! The following is a list of projects completed in the current and previous ESPLOSTs:
- Security cameras for schools and buses
- Updated Fire Alarms and Intercom Systems
- Athletic Facilities (New Weight Room, Batting Facility, Bleacher Replacements, Resurfaced Tennis Courts)
- Wifi System Throughout the Schools
- Classroom Computers
- Student Chromebooks (1:1 in grades 4-12)
- SMART Interactive Boards
- School Buses, System Vehicles & Maintenance Equipment
- Updated HVAC systems
- Band Instruments
- Kitchen Equipment
- Improved Sound Systems
- Science (STEM) lab at CCEMS
- VOIP phone system & Safety Communication Devices
- Updated Playground Equipment
- Improved Classrooms (new floors, paint, & desks)