School systems across the state of Georgia have long embarked on a perpetual journey to raise funds to keep their systems nourished to provide superior educational opportunities for the young people of the state.
In 1997, the state legislature passed a bill approving SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) to offer a viable and alternate source of revenue for school systems. In essence, it was an alternative revenue stream. Before that, school systems only had the opportunity to increase property taxes to receive more money through millage increases.
Ten years ago, Putnam County voters approved a one cent sales tax for use by the Putnam County Charter School System and this year, on the Nov. 3 ballot, PCCSS is asking voters to approve the continuation of this SPLOST revenue stream that equates to about $2.5 million.
“This allows communities like ours to add a one cent sales tax and the burden doesn’t have to fall on the property owners,” said PCCSS superintendent Eric Arena. “In our community, travelers stop here and buy food and gas and they are helping to pay for our school system. Likewise, it is a user tax so it is a benefit from that standpoint.”
When this passes, Arena said the money will be used for many purposes including safety improvements, renovation, transportation and technology.
‘We believe the reputation we have as a school system over the last decade, anybody who supports our school system should vote “yes” for it,” Arena said. “If property owners know it will benefit them so property taxes don’t go up, it makes sense to vote “yes”.”