Ware County Schools E-SPLOST: Introduction

Ware County Schools E-SPLOST: Technology

Ware County Schools E-SPLOST: Agriculture Facility

Ware County Schools E-SPLOST: Adaptive Learning Suites and Playgrounds

Ware County Schools E-SPLOST: HVAC

The Ware County Board of Education is committed to providing opportunities, access, and positive educational outcomes for students and their families.  The Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) program is designed to help build facilities and acquire technologies to support and fulfill that commitment.

E-SPLOST is an answer to a problem many school systems in this state have faced: how to provide resources, safe schools, and necessary support while utilizing a general operating budget that is made up largely of salaries and benefits. The state legislature and citizens in Georgia helped solve that problem by passing a constitutional amendment that allows school districts to put before voters a measure that creates a one-cent sales tax to support capital projects in the school district.

Ware County Schools, like many other districts in the state, put a referendum before voters, and the first E-SPLOST was passed in 1997. Since that time, our community's voters have made one penny count by passing five consecutive E-SPLOST referenda. E-SPLOST collections cover a five-year period. Districts wishing to continue collections must put a ballot referendum before the voters allowing them to support its continuation or decline it.

E-SPLOST generated funds can only be used for capital projects – construction, technology, transportation, learning equipment/resources – and may NOT be used for salaries or benefits. These funds directly support our students with the most up-to-date facilities and other vital resources needed to provide an exceptional education. When considering the role E-SPLOST plays, it is important to note that 89% of the annual operating budget covers salaries and benefits for approximately 1,000 employees. The remaining 11% of the annual operating budget covers other general operating expenses. Keeping our buildings and resources current and modern has been possible through E-SPLOST.

Who is paying for E-SPLOST? The simple answer is anyone who eats, sleeps, shops, or has a business in Ware County contributes to E-SPLOST collections. When a dollar is spent, a penny is collected for schools. Travelers going north or south on US-1 each year and shoppers from surrounding communities contribute to E-SPLOST each time they make a purchase in Waycross-Ware County. Those pennies add up quickly! Each month, we bring in approximately $640,000 from E-SPLOST funds through E-SPLOST V. If passed, we expect E-SPLOST VI to bring in approximately $40 million - one penny at a time!

E-SPLOST Frequently Asked Questions