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What you need to know: ESPLOST on the ballot for Bryan Co. residents

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The November special election is just over a week away in Bryan County, and on the ballot is the Education Local Option Sales Tax, or ESPLOST.

What you need to know is ESPLOST is not a new tax. It’s the continuation of a one cent sales tax that has been approved by voters every five years since 1997. The way it works is it’s charged on anyone who makes a purchase in Bryan County so they’ll be contributing to local schools. The school system uses these funds for educational expenses like renovations, new schools and updated technology.

ESPLOST has also funded the new Francis Meeks Elementary School and land for the new Bryan County High School. As the fastest growing county in Georgia, school officials said they need to be able to support the increase in student enrollment.

The other important thing to know is Georgia Code only allows ESPLOST to fund what voters approve, so if you vote “yes,” you’ll be approving renovations to George Carver Elementary School, new operation centers, athletic improvements and more.

If ESPLOST doesn’t pass the November 2 election, the school systems said they can ask for a reconsideration in March. They also said they will exhaust all other sources of revenue from the state or federal government before going up on property taxes.

The Bryan County School system also has a page with more information on their website.

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