Monday, November 7, 2011

Please VOTE tomorrow.

The North and South Fulton Council of PTAs have chosen to support a favorable vote for
RENEWAL of our education SPLOST. 
We encourage you to VOTE YES, this November 8th

Listed below are some final Q&As below about SPLOST .  Please share with your neighbors, family, and community groups...
Will I pay more sales tax if SPLOST IV passes?

qNo, SPLOST IV is a tax RENEWAL not an additional tax.

What if the renewal of the Education SPLOST doesn’t pass?

q The need for additional classrooms and renovations of existing schools and support facilities is essential, as well as the need for an enhanced technological environment across our system and schools. . These projects must take place. So alternative-funding sources will be sought, and will cost the taxpayer more money. Bonds are the most likely alternative; they incur debt, much like a mortgage, and will cause new schools to cost approximately 20% more. Bonds will be funded through an increase in dedicated property tax millage.

At the end of the year, what happens to SPLOST funds not spent?

q The tax is collected over a 5-year period. Funds simply roll over into the following year. If at the end of the five-year collection cycle there are funds remaining, AND all projects on the referendum are completed, the funds may be used for additional debt reduction (incurred prior to 1997), OR used for land banking for future projects.

What happens if we collect the amount of tax forecasted before the end of the five-year cycle?

q It is believed this scenario is highly unlikely, however, should the amount of tax-collected equal the forecast prior to the five-year period, collections would stop at that time.

Can SPLOST funds be used in general fund budget for a new program for the students?

q No, SPLOST funds are strictly for capital projects and can only go towards what is stated in the Resolution.

Why should taxpayers without children in public schools support the renewal of the Education SPLOST?

q SPLOST is a much more attractive funding source since people living outside of the county help build our schools. Our schools have an excellent reputation, which attract new residents and businesses and keeps property values high. Renters and property owners benefit from our outstanding schools, since property taxes can remain lower than they would be otherwise.

q In addition, schools serve the community. Fulton schools are used after regular school hours by recreational programs, arts groups, and athletic leagues. Summer camps take place in Fulton Schools each year and are attended by both students and non-students. Quality facilities mean quality community resources.

Will I pay more sales tax if SPLOST IV passes?

q No, SPLOST IV is a tax RENEWAL not an additional tax.

How was the 1% figure arrived at?

q This was the percentage written in the 1996 constitutional amendment. It was 1% or no percentage.

I already pay so much tax for schools, why is it not enough?

q Only 40% of your property taxes go toward education, the majority goes into the general fund that is used for salaries and classroom instruction. The state has been reducing the amount of money it pays for education, while adding unfunded mandates. Additionally, the federal government has imposed unfunded mandates within the No Child Left Behind Act.

When does the current SPLOST expire and why is it part of the general election?

q The SPLOST constitutional amendment was written and approved in November 1996., The first time an election could be held was the following March 1997. The school systems needed the funds and therefore chose not to wait until the following general election. SPLOST was renewed in March 2002. In planning for SPLOST III, the district considered an earlier vote but after hearing the legal opinion of several School Board attorneys it was decided to remain with the original March election date. The current SPLOST expires June 30, 2012. If SPLOST IV passes, it will begin July 1, 2012. If the vote was held until the November 2007 election, school systems would lose several months of needed tax collections.

Has Fulton County Schools been a good steward of taxpayers’ money?

q The Fulton County BOE’s proven record of sound financial management has earned the school system an Aa2 rating with Moody’s Investors Services and a AA rating with Standard and Poors Rating Services. Letters from these rating services credit the school system with solid capital planning, effective management of the annual budget, and sound long-term debt practices. A growing economic base in Fulton County speaks well for the school system’s future prospects. The School Board has further improved efficiencies by hiring Parsons, a company with an international reputation for excellence, to oversee the capital building program.

Why should businesses support the education SPLOST?

q Schools are an investment in a community’s future. High achieving schools and SPLOST promotes economic growth. North and South Fulton Chambers of Commerce and their membership are strong advocates for SPLOST renewal.

Why can my Principal not tell me how to vote for SPLOST?

q School systems may not provide election opinions. They can however,
provide information about the need for SPLOST and the use of funds. PTAs
however, have different guidelines, and as an advocacy group, the
North and
South Fulton Council of PTAs have chosen to support a favorable vote for
RENEWAL of our education SPLOST.

See you at the Polls. We encourage you to VOTE YES, this November 8th !