SPLOST Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an E-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education)?

    A. A Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for education (E-SPLOST) allows local school districts to collect a one-cent sales tax to help fund capital improvements, including debt repayment for capital projects. It cannot be used for operating expenses.

    Q. Is this a new tax?

    A. E-SPLOST is not a new or additional tax. Since 1997, voters have consistently supported the local school system through resolutions, approving four E-SPLOST programs (1997, 2001, 2006, and 2011). Over the past 17 years these programs have paid debt, purchased land, built and equipped hundreds of classrooms, and helped maintain and renovate existing facilities.

    Q. Who pays the one-cent sales tax?

    A. SPLOST is a consumption tax. That means anyone who makes a purchase or does business in Paulding County pays the SPLOST tax. Regardless of whether you own a home in Paulding, own a business in Paulding, or are traveling through the county for a single day, everyone who does business in Paulding pays the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

    Q. How long does an E-SPLOST last?

    A. Collections are for a maximum of five years or upon collection of the maximum amount of voter-approved revenue, whichever occurs first. E-SPLOST V collections begin April 2016 and continue until March 2021 or until $100 million is collected.

    Q. Can E-SPLOST funds be used for operating budget shortfalls or salaries?

    A. Funds cannot be used for operating expenses. Georgia law is specific about what school districts may propose to voters as potential E-SPLOST-funded projects. The law states that E-SPLOST funds may be used for school facility improvements, to pay for capital projects, or to retire debt. E-SPLOST funds may not be used for operating expenses such as salaries.

    Q. What is the total amount of bond debt owed by the District?

    A. The school district has not issued bonds since 2008 and has $110 million in debt, $99 million by the end of the current E-SPLOST IV.

    Q. What is bond debt? How is it paid?

    A. When a school district undertakes capital projects (i.e. land acquisition, new facility construction, existing facility renovation, etc.), a substantial portion of the cost must be allocated in advance of the project. To acquire these up-front funds, districts may ask voters to approve the sale of school bonds as a source of revenue. When bonds are sold, districts receive money in advance, and the amount of bond debt must be repaid by the district over a period of years through tax collections. An easy example is to think of school bond debt as similar to a home mortgage which allows the homeowner to acquire the home and repay over a period of years.

    Generally, there are two funding sources that districts use for bond payments, property tax revenues (bond millage / ad valorem) and E-SPLOST revenues.

    Q. Who pays the millage rate/ad valorem tax?

    A. Home owners, business owners - anyone who pays property tax - pays the millage rate through ad valorem taxes.

    Q. What is the total amount of bond debt owed by the District?

    A. The school district has not issued bonds since 2008 and has $110 million in debt, $99 million by the end of the current E-SPLOST IV.