COVINGTON, Ga. - On Tuesday, May 22, Newton County residents will be asked to vote on the renewal of the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, estimated at $60 million, and an additional $60 million in general obligation bonds. eSPLOST has been renewed three times since 2000 by overwhelming support. By voting yes again to renew it, significant education projects will continue to be offset by a 1 percent sales tax in Newton County that everyone, even visitors traveling through the county, will contribute to.
Newton County residents can benefit from the education projects that are proposed through the eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond. Projects that are contingent of the voters’ response are: replacement of Eastside High School, relocation of Newton County Theme School to Eastside High School, facility maintenance and improvements at existing facilities, purchase of technology, replacement of 45 school buses, improvements to Sharp Stadium and other athletic facilities, band equipment, and furniture replacement.
The eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond projects are proposed for completion with a $123 million extension of eSPLOST. With the renewal of eSPLOST, the county anticipates generating $60 million from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2024. The $60 million in bonds will mature in installments between 2023 and 2035 on April 1st of each year. A state capital outlay will pay for the remaining $2.7 million needed to complete the project list.
There are compelling reasons to vote yes for renewing eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond. Everyone in the county benefits because eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond provides the framework for education to continue to improve in Newton County. It helps the county provide a good school system with good facilities, updated technology and enhanced safety. It helps influence the social and economic wellbeing of the community.
Since eSPLOST is a sales tax, funds will come from sales made within the county. Those sales include people traveling through the county that make purchases, whether they live here or not. According to the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey and U.S. Census Bureau’s Census of Retail Trade, over 30% of SPLOST revenues are estimated from purchases made by people outside the community.
These are critical projects to improve education that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get done. Without it, the burden would be left on the taxpayers. Therefore, if the eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond is approved, it will help reduce the likelihood for the need to increase property taxes.
Help the county renew eSPLOST/General Obligation Bond by voting yes at the polls on May 22, 2018. For your convenience, you can also vote early from now through May 18 at the Board of Elections Office at 1113 Usher St., Suite 103, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information about polling locations on May 22, to see a sample ballot, for a complete list of the 2018 projects, and more, visit http://www.voteyessplost.org/newtonesplost/.