The Long County Board of Education approved a measure last week to put the continuation of the education special purpose local option sales tax on referendum in 2011.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said voters will decide in March whether to continue the 1 cent tax, which is used for capital outlay projects, such as the planned high school.
“This is the most fair tax that is out there. Local people pay it, visitors pay it, people traveling through the county on their way to and from work, they pay it,” Waters said. “It is a tax that everyone pays and not just the property owners.” The superintendent said the revenue raised through ESPLOST may only be used for building projects. It cannot be used for school maintenance and operational costs.
If any county residents have questions about ESPOST, Waters encourages them to contact him.
Last week, the BoE also approved closing all schools early on Dec. 17 to start the Christmas break.
Smiley Elementary School will close at 11:30 a.m. and Walker Middle School and the high school will close at noon.
“This is happening because of the system’s team attitude, and going above and beyond in service, despite the bad economic times,” Waters said.
After the meeting, the superintendent praised the school system for hosting Veteran’s Day celebrations. He thanked all the veterans who showed up to be a part of the festivities.
“I know some people wondered why we didn’t take the day as a holiday, but with the schools putting their tributes together honoring our veterans, it gave the students a better appreciation for what these men and women have sacrificed for them and all the rest of us,” Waters said. “If it would have been a holiday, to most of the kids it would have just been another day off, but we had over 600 kids, who got to actually be a part of Veteran’s Day and that’s a great thing.”