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ESPLOST V

EDUCATION SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX –ESPLOST

“Your Pennies at Work for Catoosa County Children”

           

WHAT IS ESPLOST?

ESPLOST stands for Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.  ESPLOST is a one cent sales tax levied on all consumer purchases in Catoosa County. 

 

HOW CAN ESPLOST BE USED?

ESPLOST was established by the Georgia Legislature in 1996 to provide a method for school systems to generate funds exclusively for capital outlay expenditures.  This includes new classrooms and schools, maintenance and renovation of schools, and the purchase of technology and buses.  With ESPLOST funds designated for capital projects, Catoosa County Public Schools can focus local, state, and federal tax revenue on instructional programs and materials for students.

 

HOW DOES ESPLOST BENEFIT PROPERTY OWNERS?

ESPLOST is not a property taxESPLOST benefits property owners because anyone who shops, eats, or buys gas in Catoosa County contributes to building and maintaining schools for our children.  Heavily traveled Interstate 75 intersects our county, so many travelers stop in Catoosa County.  The one cent ESPLOST sales tax is added to their purchases, so these non-resident shoppers are contributing to excellent educational facilities for Catoosa’s children. 

 

IS ESPLOST A TAX INCREASE?

NOESPLOST V is a continuation of the current penny sales tax for education that Catoosa County citizens have supported since 1997.  ESPLOST V will extend the one cent sales tax for five years.  ESPLOST V will not increase the existing 7% sales tax in Catoosa County.  All our surrounding counties, and the majority of Georgia counties, have a 7% sales tax.  With a 7% sales tax compared to Hamilton County’s 9.25% sales tax, Catoosa County is a good choice for shoppers.

 

WHY DO WE NEED TO EXTEND OUR CURRENT ESPLOST?

1.      To Enhance Student Safety:  With acts of violence in our country, it has never been more critical for schools to enhance security and surveillance to improve student safety.  ESPLOST V funds will be used to purchase the SIELOX emergency notification system for every school.  The SIELOX system provides real-time information to school administrators, the Sherriff’s Office, and first responders in the event of an emergency.  In addition to the SIELOX system, the school system will use ESPLOST V funds to purchase additional cameras and classroom door barricades.  All doors will be rekeyed to the system’s patented lock.  Elementary playground equipment will be updated to improve student safety at recess, and new school buses will be purchased.

 

2.      To Prepare Students for the 21st Century:  Today’s students MUST be accomplished using technology productively to be prepared for college and a global economy. The ESPLOST V, Let’s Get CONNECTed!, initiative will provide technology for every student in every Catoosa County school.  Let’s Get CONNECTed!, will provide an iPad for every K-2 student to use at school, a Chromebook for every 3rd – 8th grade student to use at school, and a Chromebook for every high school student to use at school and at home. 

 

3.      To Maintain Facility Equitability:  The Board of Education has a responsibility to maintain facility equitability across the county.  Parents in every school zone want to know that the school their child is zoned to attend is equitable to other schools.  ESPLOST IV funded major projects at LFO and Ringgold High School.  ESPLOST V will fund a major renovation to update 65 year-old Graysville Elementary School and athletic facilities at all middle schools.

 

4.      To Maintain the Community’s Investment in Facilities:  The school system manages over 1.7 million square feet in facilities.  Routine maintenance in every school is required to protect the community’s investment in facilities.  This maintenance includes roofing, heating and cooling units, and painting. 

 

WHY IS THE SCHOOL SYSTEM PROPOSING TO SELL BONDS IN ESPLOST V?

The school system issued bonds with ESPLOST III and IV.  The system will issue bonds again with ESPLOST V in order to begin safety, technology, and renovation projects.  Enhancing student safety and providing technology for students is critical.  Bonds allow the system to begin these projects in 2016.  Bonds will provide funding for the renovations at Graysville Elementary and middle school athletic facilities to proceed at today’s costs.  The bonds and interest will be repaid with ESPLOST V collections.

 

WHY SHOULD CITIZENS WHO DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN IN SCHOOL CARE ABOUT THE ESPLOST EXTENSION?

ESPLOST makes “cents” for property owners and citizens because property and ad valorem taxes can be dedicated to teachers, instructional materials for our students, and operation of our schools.  ESPLOST helps the school board maintain a reasonable millage rate because travelers and visitors share the responsibility of building and maintaining our schools.  Good schools mean well-prepared citizens, a strong labor force, and an inviting atmosphere for those living and working in Catoosa County.  One of the key questions asked by industrial/commercial or residential prospects is, “What is the quality of the public school system?”  Catoosa County Public Schools has a reputation for excellence because of the support the system receives from the community.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF ESPLOST DOESN’T PASS?

Continuing ESPLOST is critical for the school system to continue to build and maintain safe and     up-to-date learning environments for our children.  ESPLOST has funded new construction and maintenance in our schools so state revenue and local taxes could be dedicated to instructional and operational expenses.  Without ESPLOST the Board of Education would have to cut programs for students or raise property taxes to maintain our facilities.  

 

IMPORTANT DATES

         Voter Registration closes February 1, 2016

         Early Voting February 8 – 26, 2016:  Courthouse Annex & West Side Precinct 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

         Election Day:  Tuesday, March 1, 2016.  The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

EDUCATION SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX – ESPLOST

THE POWER OF PENNIES FOR OUR CHILDREN

VOTE MARCH 1, 2016

School Supplies

Catoosa County Public Schools | P.O. Box 130 | Ringgold, GA 30736 | (706) 965-2297