On the May 24, 2016 ballot, the DeKalb County School District intends to bring forth a referendum for an Education Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) as follows.
Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is an additional penny sales tax levy for capital improvements for schools. Voters can approve or deny the e-SPLOST for five year increments. Since 1997, voters have approved referendums for, four e-SPLOSTs.
History of E-SPLOST in DeKalb
|Date of Vote||Five Year Period||% Yes||% Turnout||Amount|
|I||Mar. 18, 1997||July 1997 –June 2002||68.40%||20.60%||$415|
|II||Mar. 20, 2002||July 2002 –June 2007||61.40%||9.40%||$457|
|III||Mar. 20, 2007||July2007 –June 2012||69.70%||5.40%||$489|
|IV||Nov. 8, 2011||July2012 –June 2017||62.20%||13.90%||$492 (Anticipated)|
|V||24-May-16||July 2017 –June 2022||$500 (Anticipated)|
Proposed Funding Allocation
|Resolution Item||$ millions||Percentage|
|1. Safety and Security||$15||3%|
|2. New Facilities and Additions||$230||46%|
|3. Facility Condition Improvements||$100||20%|
|4. Technology Improvements,incl. ERP||$65||13%|
|5.Buses, Vehicles, and Other Capital Equipment||$40||8%|
|Management and Contingency||$50||10%|
E-SPLOST Project List
Previous E-SPLOST referendums have included a specific list of projects for voters to consider. The current administration is taking a different approach as they ask for voter approval for E-SPLOST V. The administration is not presenting a list of projects, but rather, is indicating the types of projects they intend to fund. If approved, this referendum will not contain any specific commitments to the taxpayers or school communities. Here is the proposed language for the referendum: E-SPLOST Referendum V below.
Regional meetings to discuss potential projects will not be held until after the vote to approve or deny the e-SPLOST. The plan is to hold meetings in September to discuss the project list. The administration is asking the board to discuss the results of those meetings in November and approve the final detailed project list in December.
Paragraph i – Improve Safety and Security
Making of site, facility and technology improvements deemed necessary to improve safety and security, such as enhancing surveillance systems, fire alarms systems, fire sprinkler installation, perimeter fencing, etc. at some or all of the DCSD Schools and Facilities;
Paragraph ii – Creating New Schools
Adding to, modifying, replacing, reconfiguring schools and/or facilities or creating new schools and/or facilities to accommodate current and future student enrollment, develop early childhood centers, enhance regional support of schools, address major facility conditions, and accommodate expanded or new programmatic needs, and acquiring land for constructing and equipping new and/or replacement schools/facilities, or equivalent facility capacity, including, but not limited to, site preparation and the demolition of all or portions of existing structures and/or acquiring leasehold purchasing of facilities/properties as needed based on DeKalb County School District’s determination of need priorities;
Paragraph iii – Renovate and Repair Existing Schools
Adding to, renovating, modifying, reconfiguring, equipping, upgrading, supplementing, acquiring, replacing, and installing capital improvements for various existing and new schools, buildings and facilities (including schools, buildings and facilities to be constructed pursuant to this resolution, once completed and including any site preparation and demolition of existing structures if necessary)–e.g., roofing, plumbing, wiring, painting, water piping, HVAC, making athletic field and physical education facility upgrades and improvements, ADA renovations, infrastructure improvements, repaving, restroom facilities, systems for environmental and air quality control, physical education facilities, kitchens, improvements to comply with health, safety and applicable building codes, traffic control and optimization, parking and parking capacity, storm water management facilities, and program-driven modifications, as needed based on the DeKalb County School District’s determination of need priorities at some or all of the [DeKalb County School District’s] schools and facilities.
Paragraph iv – Technology Improvements
Making technology improvements, by acquiring, replacing, purchasing, installing, upgrading or supplementing technology including, but not limited to: technology that supports and/or enhances instruction, digital communication technology, enhanced school security solutions, wireless technology, enterprise content management solutions, replacement and/or enhancement of technology/systems in support of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) upgrade, data storage systems, telecommunication systems, digital records retention, technology hardware, software, and related infrastructure at some or all of DSCD Schools and Facilities, as needed;
Paragraph v – Replacing School Buses & Equipment
Replacing, purchasing, upgrading, refurbishing or supplementing school buses and support vehicles and other capital equipment as needed including, but not limited to items such as, desks, chairs, tables, instructional equipment, band equipment, kitchen equipment, waste compactors, portable classrooms/modular buildings, custodial equipment, grounds equipment, etc. at some or all of DCSD Schools and Facilities;
GMA Legal Report August 2012 – The Georgia Municipal Association is pleased to provide for municipal officials a discussion of legal and policy considerations relevant to the special purpose local option sales tax.
The Georgia Attorney General’s office issued an unofficial opinion in 1990 (U90 18) that said the list of projects that appears on a SPLOST resolution need not give the voters a high level of specificity, as the statue governing SPLOST resolution does not require it .
According to the unofficial opinion, “There is no necessity that the description of the purpose or purposes for the tax be in exacting detail. Rather . . . the description and the purposes must be only so specific as to place the electorate on fair notice of the projects to which the tax will be devoted.”
Merely noting the types of projects to be funded, assuming that they are in accord with the types of projects specified by state Code, is sufficient.