On September 18, 2007, Newton County residents passed the school system’s $110 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and general obligation bond referenda for schools.
By approving the SPLOST Referendum Newton County residents approved the continuation of the existing one-penny sales tax that was set to expire on December 31, 2009. These revenues will be used primarily to construct three new elementary schools, a new middle school, an addition to Alcovy High School; to make improvements at existing schools and Sharp Stadium; to improve technology; to purchase buses and to reduce the district’s general obligation principal indebtedness. This sales tax is limited to 60 months of collections or until a set amount of revenue has been received, whichever comes first.
The passage of the General Obligation Bonds referenda will provide the school system revenues to be used primarily to construct a new high school, complete the new middle school, and make additions/improvements to existing schools. This General Obligation Bond indebtedness is scheduled to be paid by a continuation of the current one mill for debt service after it is scheduled to expire in 2016.
The growth in our county is well documented. It was reported that from 2000-2006 Newton County was the 4th fastest growing county in Georgia and the 11th fastest growing county in the nation. We have continually grown by more than 1,000 students each year. At this rate of growth, more than 25,000 students are projected to be enrolled in our schools by 2013, the anticipated completion date of the proposed construction and improvements.
The proceeds from the SPLOST and GO Bond Referenda will be used for the following projects:
- Three new elementary schools.
- One new middle school.
- One new high school.
- An addition to Alcovy High School.
- Band/ROTC addition to Eastside High School.
- Renovations at existing schools, including Newton High School.
- Improvements to Sharp Stadium and possible construction of a second stadium.
- Improved technology throughout the school system.
- Payment for existing school buses which were acquired through bus purchase financing as well as future bus acquisitions.
- Payment towards existing bond indebtedness in order to maintain the current low rate of one mill for debt service.