Voters to decide on ESPLOST extension in Bulloch County

BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - Voters in Bulloch County must decide whether or not to extend a local option sales tax for education.

Bulloch County's School Superintendent says the ESPLOST vote isn't about replacing old buildings with new ones but expanding, upgrading, and maintaining the current generation of schools.

The current five-year education special purpose sales tax expires December 2018. Voters must decide next week if they want to continue the extra penny-on-the-dollar beginning January 2019. They anticipate that tax raising $51 million. Superintendent Charles Wilson says the money would go to upgrade and update current schools.

"There's everything in here from security and safety upgrades, technology for instruction, to upgrades to buildings," Superintendent Wilson said.

He says they used the last three ESPLOSTs to build new schools, but those must be updated with new technology and more of it as school populations rise. The sales tax helps avoid putting the whole tax burden on property owners.

"We're very fortunate that we can balance our property taxes and our sales tax revenues," Wilson said.

You have until Friday afternoon to vote early, and Statesboro voters can cast their ballot for mayor at the same time. Come Tuesday, you could be going two places to vote. Of course, we'll have all the results for you Tuesday night.

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