While you’re probably overwhelmed with just figuring out how you’ll recover from the Kardashian divorce, get ready to deal with a bigger issue: To SPLOST, or not to SPLOST.
SPLOST – which stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax – is an opportunity for local communities to levy a one cent sales tax to fund “”special purposes.”” If you were looking to build schools, fix a decrepit sewer system, or fund a once-in-a-generation transportation system overhaul without raising property taxes… SPLOST is for you!
There are passionate voices on both sides of the debate. There’s obviously a certain level of NIMBYism going on- if you’re neighborhood is set to benefit from the construction of a new school, it’s safe to say that you’re going to vote “”yes.”” Do yourself a favor- learn more about the issue, and vote next Tuesday, November 8 to vote. As a bonus, you’ll also get to vote on Sunday alcohol sales!
I think that the pros were well voiced in a recent email that I received from the Druid Hills Civic Association:
This coming Tuesday, November 8, voters have the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ to keep the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dedicated to capital and technology improvements for our schools. The school SPLOST has been in place since 1997, so it is not a new tax, but simply a continuation of funding that protects our capital assets, keeps our property taxes down, and that will bring more than $500 million in economic activity into DeKalb over the next five years.
This renewal of the school SPLOST will have a tremendous benefit to Druid Hills and our neighboring intown school communities. Among the capital upgrades and improvements that will take place are:
* $20 million for a new school building for Fernbank Elementary. The new building, which will sit on the same school site Fernbank has had since 1957, will accommodate all Fernbank students, faculty, and staff, without any trailers. The new building will meet today’s educational suitability standards and make the most of sustainable engineering and technology. Construction will take place during the summer of 2013 and continue through the 2013-2014 school year. Students, teachers, and staff are expected to open the new building with the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.
* Nearly $700,000 for new plumbing fixtures and water piping in the older portions of Druid Hills High School.
* At Springdale Park Elementary, construction of a gymnasium and parking lot will be paid for with SPLOST dollars.
* Candler Park’s Mary Lin Elementary will receive a renovation and meaningful expansion that will better accommodate all of Mary Lin’s students.
* Atlanta Public Schools will build a new middle school in Midtown.
* City Schools of Decatur will receive as much as $18 million, which will fund, among other things, a renovation and expansion of Renfroe MiddleSchool and allow for the re-opening of Westchester Elementary School on Scott Boulevard.
* In Avondale Estates, Avondale Elementary will receive over $2.3 million in badly needed upgrades to critical building systems, and the currently empty Avondale Middle will receive a $4.3 million renovation so that it will serve as a comprehensive School of the Arts for not only high school age artists, but the budding artists in the lower grades as well.