ESPLOST – Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax
The benefits of ESPLOST
Investing in Education –Security, Innovation, and Facilities
As we entered into our fourth, most recent ESPLOST for Rome/Floyd County, it was evident that together we were making a difference in the lives of our children. The ESPLOST, a one-cent tax on consumer goods, has paid huge dividends in our schools. Since the beginning of the ESPLOST, our community has been able to complete many necessary upgrades for our children including:
- Construction of Elm Street Elementary School and Anna K. Davie Elementary
- New classroom additions at East Central Elementary, West Central Elementary, West End Elementary School, Rome High School (including a new band room), and Rome Middle School
- Replaced HVAC at several locations around the district
- Replaced several outdated school buses
- Renovations of the Phoenix Learning Center and Rome Transitional Academy
- Provided smart boards, projector, and computers in schools across the district
- Replaced roofs at Rome High and Rome Middle.
- Purchased Chromebooks for our 1:1 initiative
- Construction of the Early Learning Center at Anna K. Davie Elementary
- Access controls and cameras at all of our schools for added security
FACTS/TALKING POINTS ABOUT SPLOST:
- ESPLOST stands for Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. It is a one-cent sales tax on retail goods that must be approved by voters in a referendum. Revenues from the tax must be used for specific capital improvement projects at local schools.
- There are two SPLOST initiatives on the ballot for November. One is a continuation, meaning not an increase, of the current ESPLOST that will include all the projects that are included on this site. The second is a community SPLOST for the city and county.
- Since approximately 90% of the district’s operating budget pays for salaries of teachers and staff, the ESPLOST provides means for our district to be able to maintain buildings, technology, and provide the necessary resources to provide our students with high quality academics, athletics, and arts.
- The State of Georgia gives very little funding to local districts that can be used towards maintenance or construction of buildings, technology resources and infrastructure, and providing instructional resources for students.
- Before ESPLOST initiatives, the school district issued bonds that were repaid from property tax revenues, or used ad valorem tax revenues to fund capital improvements. Both put the burden on property owners and took years to pay-off.
- Bonds must be repaid over many years with interest. Whereas, ESPLOST revenue is used as it is received and there is no interest to pay back.
- Those who do not pay property tax and/or live out of the county, but work and play in Rome, support our schools by paying a significant portion of the ESPLOST – estimates say 30% or more.
- The penny sales tax cannot be used to pay teaching personnel or any other operational costs of the school system. Only capital projects, which include new schools, classrooms, technology, and debt retirement, are acceptable uses of the sales tax revenue.
- ESPLOST IV has allowed us to address safety improvements, update and enhance our technology in our schools, and provide maintenance on buildings that will ensure our students continue to have the resources needed to succeed in today’s economy.