Sumter County votes to extend E-SPLOST

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, March 17, 2021

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With an extremely low voter turnout, the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) will remain in effect for another five years, or 30 million dollars, whichever comes first. Citizens will see no noticeable change in their taxes as the E-SPLOST has been in effect for several years. The penny tax will go towards retiring the bond debt of the new high school, security improvements, classroom technology, buses and facility improvements at each of the schools.

The school system has two ways to pay for educational needs in the county. It may tax property owners or it may pass an E-SPLOST. Georgia voters approved an E-SPLOST option to pay for educational needs in 1996. An E-SPLOST will be funded by anyone making a purchase in Sumter County. Without an E-SPLOST, the burden will fall directly on property owners. Regardless of how the vote turned out, the new high school would be completed and payment of the debt bond required. The voters chose to pay for educational needs by continuing the sales tax, having everyone contribute, rather than requiring only property owners to bear the costs.

Randy Howard, Supervisor of Elections, reports the Board of Elections will be certifying the results at 10AM today, 3/17/2021. However, the unofficial results indicate the E-SPLOST passed with a large margin: 1256 voted for the E-SPLOST and 149 voted no to continuing the sales tax. The Americus Times-Recorder will be releasing the detailed and final results when the Board of Elections has completed their certification.

Update: Election Results received 3/17/21 at approximately 2pm, voting has been confirmed by Board of Elections Yes: 1256, 89.40% No: 149, 10.60%