Blakely-- The Early county school system says the 1% sales tax, will hopefully raise $13 million over the next five years. That money will go to completing some much needed projects in schools there.
If Tuesday's E-SPLOST vote is approved, it will be the third renewal of the optional tax. Early county superintendent Betty Orange says it's been a great help with the $7 million its raised already. "It has helped to keep our buildings in good condition, and help with repairs. Also it provided funding to do construction for new schools," she says.
Orange says if voters choose to continue the extra 1% sales tax, they'll be doing their county a great favor, at a small cost to them. "It allows every person who shops in Blakely, Early county to have an opportunity to help fund education, and it helps take the burden off of the taxpayers," Orange says.
Even local shopkeepers don't seem to mind the extra tax tacked on to their sales. Bob Hall, owner of Hall Drug Company says, "the way I feel about SPLOST is, it's just a good way for the community to provide the education that is needed, especially in this area."
The school system has a list of projects they need funding for. A new gymnasium for Early county High School is the top priority. "We have roofing needs at the high school. We need to replace the current roof at the high school," adds Orange. They'll also allocate money for technology in the classrooms, and security equipment, including fencing for their campuses.
Store owners say most shoppers won't even notice a pinch in their wallet. "I never had anybody to question the tax. I don't think very many people are very much aware of it," comments Hall.
If the renewal of the current SPLOST is not approved, it will expire December 31st, this year.