ESPLOST to improve facilities –

Pike County voters will decide whether or not to sue the county’s sixth ESPLOST in the November 2 election. The school system said the funding would improve the school auditorium, upgrade the middle school HVAC, provide cooking equipment if needed, as well as paving and resurfacing, new buses, a roof for a elementary school, land for a future campus, floors, bleachers, goals and scoreboards for the high school gymnasium, gymnasium and weight room upgrades, tennis courts and softball stands and baseball.

“SPLOST Education is not a property tax. It provides a method of financing the cost of education improvements and debt repayment that everyone, not just homeowners, contributes, ”said Superintendent Dr. Michael Duncan. “Plus, sales tax is paid by everyone who purchases or stays in Pike County, including visitors.”

The ESPLOST extension would be five years or $ 14.6 million, whichever comes first. Special Purpose Education Site Option (ESPLOST) sales tax allows local school districts to ask voters to maintain sales tax of one penny to help fund school improvements . It can be used to pay for capital projects or to pay off debt, but cannot be used to pay for operating expenses, such as salaries. ESPLOSTs are promulgated by a ballot referendum. According to the school system, ESPLOST funds have been used recently to purchase new computer equipment, new HVAC systems in primary school, primary school and high school and new roofs have been installed at high school and high school. primary school.

“Without the extension of the current ESPLOST, most of the proposed projects could not be carried out without increasing property taxes,” said Dr Duncan. “According to the school district’s accreditation agency, COGNIA, we need to make improvements to the facilities and upgrade the technological resources. COGNIA will return in March 2022 to determine if the school district is progressing. In addition, ESPLOST funding is essential for the school district to respond to increasing student numbers, modernize HVAC systems and bus fleets, as well as update and modernize a wide range of areas, including kitchens, toilets and sports facilities. Pirate Nation has supported education for many years, passing six ESPLOST referendums. Adopting this ESPLOST would be a strong demonstration of the community’s continued support for its schoolchildren.

Election day is November 2. Advance in-person voting will begin on Tuesday, October 12 due to the statutory holiday of October 11 and will continue through October 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There will be two Saturday voting opportunities, including October 16 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Election Council office at 81 Jackson Street in Zebulon. The last day for residents to register and vote in the November elections is October 4. All constituencies will be open on polling day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the counting of the votes will take place at the election office in Zebulon. .

“The ESPLOST extension helps reduce the pressure on property taxes. Without ESPLOST, funds would be raised through property taxes to carry out required projects such as heating and air conditioning systems. Moreover, children are not the only ones who benefit from good schools. The social and economic strength of a community is influenced by the school system. Good schools are synonymous with strong real estate values, well-prepared citizens, a thriving job market and a welcoming atmosphere for life and work. One of the key questions asked by industrial / commercial or residential prospects looking to settle in a community is: “How good are the schools?” The adoption of previous ESPLOSTs allowed Pike County to have more modern school facilities and equipment without creating a burden on property taxpayers. For this reason, it would be wise to consider the renewal of ESPLOST in the coming years.

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