ATLANTA (WAOK)-Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2011 and polls will be open at various locations throughout the county from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. for both city and county elections.
First approved by voters in Atlanta, Decatur, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Douglas and Henry counties in 1997, the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is on the ballot for voters to decide whether to renew the one-cent sales tax as SPLOST IV.
If renewed, State Representative Stephanie Benefield, stated that the special tax will make major improvements to school buildings, sports facilities and upgrade classroom technology by installing smart boards in every classroom.
Although the project list is different for every SPLOST, Benefield stated that the focus is for the improvement of technology and infrastructure development.
If renewed, the sales tax will build new buildings for McNair and Midtown Middle Schools, create an early learning center in the Wesley Chapel area, and make major renovations to Redan, Stone Mountain and Southwest DeKalb High Schools.
Without SPLOST, supporters say that students will have to continue learning in cramped trailers which doesn’t inspire students to be excited about learning.
In addition, if school buildings need to be repaired, money will have to be taken from textbooks and teacher supplies to fix the problems.
Sheriff Thomas Brown, a supporter of SPLOST, projected that improvements in school facilities and technologies will help keep some people out of jail.
Additionally, Brown stated that SPLOST will not only generate money and a better environment for schools, but create jobs for the neighboring communities.
The school SPLOST will generate $1.9 billion of economic activity for these communities.
Breakdown: $465 million for DeKalb $15 million for Decatur $520 million for Atlanta $912 million for Fulton
Voters will be able to vote on SPLOST IV in the Atlanta, Fulton, and DeKalb ballots.