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Voters approve sales tax extension for Forsyth County Schools

District anticipates revenues of $300 million over 5 years

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CUMMING, Ga. — Voters in Forsyth County easily approved a five-year extension of the education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for their school system.

The 1 percent sales tax added to all purchases will continue for another five-year cycle through March 2027, or when $300 million has been collected.

This will be the sixth e-SPLOST approved by voters since the funding mechanism for local school districts was approved by the state legislature in 1997.

The current e-SPLOST in Forsyth County which began in March 2017 will “sunset” in March 2022 after having raised $195 million over the past five years for Forsyth County Schools. The approval of e-SPLOST6 on Nov. 2 will continue the tax collection without interruption.

Forsyth County School Board Chairwoman Kristin Morrissey said the approval of the measure by nearly 70 percent of voters confirmed the county’s continued support for the school system.

She noted the approval rate in the Nov. 2 election was higher than in previous bond referendums or e-SPLOST.

“As a board we believe moving to a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model for the next five years is a win for the system and local property owners,” Morrissey said. She said the district has previously relied heavily on bond referendums to fund needed projects in the fast-growing school district.

With the approval of e-SPLOST6, Forsyth County Schools does not anticipate the need for another bond in the next five years.

“We plan to use the SPLOST6 revenues to fund our capital needs for both life cycle needs like air conditioning, heating, roofing and upgrades throughout the system,” Morrissey said. “The district can also purchase new buses, safety and security cameras, computers and do improvements [in school-based programs] without incurring additional debt.”

With eight new schools built over the past decade, the district’s focus is moving away from new construction to increased maintenance and support in the next five-year capital program.

Only one new school – the replacement of Midway Elementary - is planned in e-SPLOST6. The $38 million school will be built adjacent to Denmark High School.

Voters also approved extending education sales taxes in Cherokee County, Cobb County, and Fulton County and Atlanta school systems.

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County residents voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to approve a penny sales tax for education.

It is the sixth time voters have extended the five-year tax, which began in 1993.

The Forsyth County School System says revenue from the tax will be used to continue payment on $50 million in bond debt, perform maintenance on existing schools, purchase land, build one new elementary school and fund new courses.

Over the past decade, enrollment in Forsyth County Schools has increased 43% to a total 51,500 students today.

Forsyth voters to decide on future of education sales tax

Candy Waylock is an award winning education reporter who has covered all things education for Appen Media over the past 20 years. She is an Alpharetta resident.

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