Early County voters to decide on renewing one-cent sales tax for school system

BLAKELY, Ga. (WDHN) — Early County voters will hit the polls next week in the Georgia primary to vote on keeping the one-cent sales tax for education.

“Sales tax is the fast tax it taxes everybody for what you buy so I’m always for sales tax,” Early County Commission Chairman Hank Jester said.

It’s not a sales tax increase — the county will remain at its 4 percent. It’s not a property tax or new tax, it will allow early county schools to continue gaining one cent of sales tax of retail sales solely for education purposes. According to the school system, the tax is known as E-SPLOST and has been supported since 1997.

The one-cent education sales tax generates over $1.7 million a year to go towards building maintenance, classroom equipment, band uniforms and instruments, buses, and new office and athletic equipment.

“Education is special and dear to my heart I have teachers in my family and we need to take care of them and the kids,” Jester said.

“I will vote yes on the one-cent sales tax to help out the school as you can see it helps us get a new gym, and new tennis courts and we could use the weight program so we need some new gym equipment out there,” Decanta Butler said.

The tax has paid off for the school system they have completed several projects like installing safety cameras, a new HVAC system, and renovating the auditorium.

One resident said the school system has made enough upgrades for the time being.

“We just renovated the auditorium, we have a nice gym and a nice school so I say no,” Pamela Salter said.

By law, the tax referendum must be renewed by popular vote and voters will cast their vote on May 21.

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