ESPLOST Frequently Asked Questions



An Education Special Purpose Location Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) allows local school districts the option to ask voters to CONTINUE the one penny sales tax to help fund school improvements. It can be used to pay for capital projects or to retire debt, but cannot be used to pay operating expenses, such as salaries. ESPLOSTs are enacted by a ballot referendum.


  1. When is the ESPLOST vote?


The election is Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be an early voting period beginning October 12-October 29 at the Court House Annex.


  1. Why do we need ESPLOST?


 According to the School District’s Accrediting Agency, COGNIA, we need to make improvements to facilities and upgrade technology resources. COGNIA will return in March of 2022 to determine if the School District is making progress. Furthermore, ESPLOST funding is critical for the School District to respond to the increase in student enrollment. modernize HVAC systems and the bus fleets as well as updating and modernizing a wide range of areas including the kitchens, restrooms, and athletic facilities. Pirate Nation has supported education for many years, passing six ESPLOST referendums. Passage of this ESPLOST would be a strong demonstration of the communities’ continued support for its school children.


  1. Why an ESPLOST?


The education SPLOST is not a property tax. It provides a method of funding the cost of educational improvements and retires bond debt to which everyone, not just property owners, contributes. Additionally, the sales tax is paid by everyone who shops or stays in Pike County, including visitors. Let us not forget that if you shop in Barnesville, Griffin, McDonough, Newnan, Peachtree City, or Thomaston you are helping fund their ESPLOST.


  1. What would the school system do with the money raised from the SPLOST extension?


ESPLOST #6 is dedicated to renovations and repairs including, but not limited to

  • The Auditorium
  • Middle School HVAC
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Paving and resurfacing
  • New Buses
  • The Elementary School Roof
  • Land for a future campus
  • High School Gym (Floor, Bleachers, Goals, Scoreboard)
  • Fieldhouse and Weight-rooms
  • Tennis Courts
  • Softball/Baseball Bleachers



  1. How much money would be raised and how long would this sales tax be in place?


The ESPLOST extension is for a $14.6 million limit or 5 years, whichever comes first.


  1. Why is the school system proposing to sell bonds in the ESPLOST extension?


By selling bonds, the school system will be able to immediately address facility repairs and renovations. The sale of bonds helps lock out cost inflation.



  1. Why isn’t the money being used for teacher salaries and curriculum development?


State laws prohibit using ESPLOST proceeds for salaries or instructional materials. However, passing this sales tax vote will free up funds to meet required financial obligations without having to rely exclusively on property taxes.


  1. Has the current ESPLOST been a success?


YES! ESPLOST funds were used to purchase new computer hardware, new HVAC systems at the Primary School, Elementary School, and High School. New roofs were installed at the High School and the Primary School.



  1. Why should people who do not have children in school support the ESPLOST extension?


The ESPLOST extension helps take pressure off property taxes. Without ESPLOST funds would be raised through property taxes to complete required projects such as heating and cooling systems. Additionally, the children are not the only ones who benefit from good schools. The social and economic strength of a community is influenced by the school system. Good schools mean strong property values, well-prepared citizens, a thriving labor market, and an inviting atmosphere for both living and working. One of the key questions asked by industrial/commercial or residential prospects looking to move into a community is, “What is the quality of the schools?”


  1. Will the school system need to continue to renew the ESPLOST in future years?


Yes and No. That will be a decision for a future Board of Education and the voters. However, the passage of previous ESPLOSTs has enabled Pike County to have modern school facilities and equipment without creating a burden on property taxpayers. For this reason, it would be wise for to consider ESPLOST renewal in years to come.


  1. What would happen if the ESPLOST did not pass?


Without the extension of the current ESPLOST, most of the proposed projects could not be accomplished without property tax increases. There would be many lost opportunities for Pike County students.


  1. Is this ESPLOST different from the Pike County Commission SPLOST?


YES. The education SPLOST is a special sales tax approved by the citizens for improvements of school facilities, debt reduction, and items such as school buses, kitchen equipment, and computers. The county SPLOST is a special tax designed to fund county projects identified by the county government.    

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