Dozens of Georgia counties next week will hold votes on whether to continue charging sales taxes for schools. The Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or ESPLOST can only pay for new buildings or for paying off debt. Supporters of the tax in Savannah's Chatham County say, public schools need to have more up-to-date buildings if they want to attract private school students. Opponents, however, say new buildings have little to do with the education going on inside of them.
Chatham County school officials are counting on voters looking past the weak economy and a possible transportation sales tax to approve their own sales tax for schools. Several school districts state-wide have E-SPLOST on the ballot this year. E-SPLOST pays for school projects. And next year, voters statewide also could approve new transportation sales taxes.