Fayette schools want $145 million E-SPLOST


Fresh off adopting a record budget, the Fayette County Board of Education on June 19 adopted the language for the E-SPLOST (education special purpose local option sales tax) III question to be put before voters on an upcoming ballot, possibly in November.

The E-SPLOST III renewal initiative will likely receive school board approval in July and an assigned date to go before voters.

Retail buyers in Fayette already pay an additional penny per dollar of sales for the current E-SPLOST, which expires in two years. The renewal would simply continue the current penny levy past 2019.

The language on the ballot as approved June 19 will read: “Shall a special one percent sales and use tax for educational purposes continue to be imposed, levied and collected in Fayette County for educational purposes for a period not to exceed 20 calendar quarters and for the purpose of raising not more than $145,000,000 of net proceeds by said tax; and shall Fayette County School District be authorized to issue general obligation debt in the principal amount of $25,000,000?”

Project categories for the current E-SPLOST include debt payments, facilities and additions, technology and equipment, safety and security equipment,furniture and equipment, transportation equipment, new construction and textbooks and instructional material.

Revenue for E-SPLOST III comes with anticipated maximum revenue of $145 million, up from the potential $107 million under the current E-SPLOST II. The increase is a sign that sales tax revenues are expected to continue to rise.

The current E-SPLOST expires in March 2019, with the school board at the April 10 work session reviewing the idea of continuing the sales tax initiative.

By comparison, during the time of the recession, the first E-SPLOST generated $97 million in revenues.