SPLOST – Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax
Investing in Education –Security, Innovation, and Facilities
As we enter into our fourth SPLOST for Rome/Floyd County, it is evident that together we are making a difference in the lives of our children. The SPLOST, one-cent tax on consumer goods, has paid huge dividends in our schools. Since the beginning of the SPLOST, our community has been able to complete many necessary upgrades for our children including:
- Construction of Elm Street Elementary School and Anna K. Davie Elementary (Anna K. Davie will be completed by 2015.)
- New classroom additions at East Central Elementary, West Central Elementary, West End Elementary School, Rome High School (including a new band room), and Rome Middle School
- Replaced HVAC at several locations around the district
- Replaced several outdated school buses
- Renovations of the Phoenix Learning Center and Rome Transitional Academy
- Provided smart boards, projector, and computers in schools across the district
We are proud of what we have accomplished together as a city and as a community. On the SPLOST IV ballot in the November 5th election, there are many other important projects that citizens will be voting on. SPLOST IV projects for Rome City Schools are focused on Security, Innovation, and Facilities.
Security – Access controls and cameras at schools. These access control devices and cameras allow office staff to monitor and control the entrance of our schools. Our number one priority in RCS is for our children and staff to have a safe environment in which to learn and work.
Innovation – Construct and equip the Early Childhood Center of Anna K. Davie, increase bandwidth throughout the school system, and upgrade digital learning devices for students and staff. These innovative projects will allow our children to increase their productivity in and outside the classroom, encourage individual leadership in learning, expand access to learning resources, and help develop digital citizenship within a structured environment.
Facilities – Replace the roofs at Rome High School and Rome Middle School, upgrade HVAC units throughout the system, replace lighting, flooring, and ceiling tiles throughout the school system, and replace aging school buses.
Other projects that have been identified, but may only be funded if enough money is collected through E-SPLOST, include: additional classrooms at West Central and Elm St., the expansion of the cafeterias at West End and West Central, and the construction of a new cafeteria at Main.
FACTS/TALKING POINTS ABOUT SPLOST:
- SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. It is a one-cent sales tax on retail goods that must be approved by voters in a referendum. Revenues from the tax must be used for specific capital improvement projects at local schools.
- There are two SPLOST initiatives on the ballot for November. One is a continuation, meaning not an increase, of the current Education SPLOST (E-Splost) that will include all the projects that are included on this site. The second is a community SPLOST for the city and county.
- Since approximately 90% of the district’s operating budget pays for salaries of teachers and staff, the E-SPLOST provides means for our district to be able to maintain buildings, technology, and provide the necessary resources to provide our students with high quality academics, athletics, and arts.
- The State of Georgia gives very little funding to local districts that can be used towards maintenance or construction of buildings, technology resources and infrastructure, and providing instructional resources for students.
- Before E-SPLOST initiatives, the school district issued bonds that were repaid from property tax revenues, or used ad valorem tax revenues to fund capital improvements. Both put the burden on property owners and took years to pay-off.
- Bonds must be repaid over many years with interest. Whereas, E-SPLOST revenue is used as it is received and there is no interest to pay back.
- Those who do not pay property tax and/or live out of the county, but work and play in Rome, support our schools by paying a significant portion of the E-SPLOST – estimates say 30% or more.
- The penny sales tax cannot be used to pay teaching personnel or any other operational costs of the school system. Only capital projects, which include new schools, classrooms, technology, and debt retirement, are acceptable uses of the sales tax revenue.
- E-SPLOST IV will allow us to address safety improvements, update and enhance our technology in our schools, and provide maintenance on buildings that will ensure our students continue to have the resources needed to succeed in today’s economy.