Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST)
The Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) is a 1-cent sales tax not to exceed five years that requires approval by a majority of registered voters in a countywide election. One benefit of ESPLOST, especially since I-75 brings many travelers through Whitfield County, is that guests who stop and make purchases in the county contribute to our schools and provide some relief for local property owners.
Revenue generated from ESPLOST is earmarked for capital improvements, which includes big ticket items such as construction, renovation, and additions to school facilities, buying property, purchasing technology, transportation, and paying off debt. Georgia law does not allow the use of ESPLOST funds to pay employee salaries or benefits or the daily maintenance and operation of schools.
Annual ESPLOST Reports
State law requires the governing authority of each municipality receiving proceeds from the local option sales tax shall maintain a record of each and every project for which the proceeds of the tax are used. These reports produced by Whitfield County Schools are also published in the local newspaper by Dec. 31 every year.
The report provides financial information about projects funded by the ESPLOST. Full details about this record of projects on which tax proceeds are used is available in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 48-8-122.