Ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST vote on March 13

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­news.com

So­cial Cir­cle Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­bers unan­i­mously ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion to call for a to ex­tend the ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST and an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment with the New­ton County School Sys­tem at Thurs­day’s meet­ing.

If SPLOST is ap­proved by the vot­ers, So­cial Cir­cle will re­ceive $250,000 of the es­ti­mated $55 mil­lion for cap­i­tal projects.

New­ton County plans for the SPLOST money to pay for a re­place­ment high school for East­side High, which will then be­come the New­ton County Theme School for stu­dent’s kinder­garten through eighth grade. The NCSS has also pledged $30 mil­lion of SPLOST pro­ceeds for prop­erty tax re­lief, which will elim­i­nate the debt ser­vice mil­lage dur­ing the five-year pe­riod. It would also pro­vide tax re­lief to prop­erty own­ers in the county, since the ex­ist­ing bond mil­lage levy would be elim­i­nated dur­ing that five-year term of the ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST.

For those with­out stu­dents in the school sys­tem, ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST still af­fects them by keep­ing prop­erty taxes lower.

Orig­i­nally es­tab­lished in 2007, the agree­ment with NCSS lasts for five years, just like ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST. This is the fourth time the school sys­tems have re­quested ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST. It will al­low for both the New­ton County and So­cial Cir­cle school sys­tems to make prop­erty tax pay­ments for stu­dents liv­ing in the school district but at­tend­ing an­other.

So­cial Cir­cle had to ap­prove the SPLOST ref­er­en­dum be­fore New­ton County could move for­ward, since a por­tion of the So­cial Cir­cle school district lies in New­ton County.

The planned March 19 ed­u­ca­tion SPLOST elec­tion al­lows for con­tin­ued SPLOST funds with­out in­ter­rup­tion be­tween the cur­rent SPLOST and the up­com­ing SPLOST, if ap­proved.

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