CANTON - Next Tuesday, the Fulton County residents will have to ask themselves if renovations to local schools are worth a tax hike
“We have quite a bit of needs. Not only in our school district but from districts throughout the county,” said District 66 Superintendent Roy Webb.
Some of those needs could be covered if Fulton County voters approve a one-percent sales tax increase.
“We have a list of needs that we want to do. Energy efficiency items and some building upgrades,” said Roy.
The tax would generate an estimated two million dollars annually. About half of that would go to schools in Canton, where officials plan to add on to a local elementary school and improve the high school science lab.
“It will be used for new construction or renovations for old. A perfect example is our science lab in Canton High School. I’m 61 years old. It was there when I was there. So a little update would help,” said School Board Vice President Leonard Barnard.
Money generated from the tax increase would go exclusively to improving schools, and Superintendent Webb says the money couldn’t come at a better time.
“We have been hit pretty hard in the state. We have had the eleven percent cuts in general state aid. We all have flat EAVs, so our property tax money has been pretty flat the last several years. And we've had taken cuts on the federal side too.
Items that aren’t already taxed would not be taxed. Those include groceries, medicine, and titled items like RVs.
School officials do have one concern; people will see the word “tax” and vote against the referendum.
“They may not even realize that it is on percent, one cent on the dollar going to schools. And if they understood that it would be a lot easier for them to vote yes.”
A similar referendum was 300 votes short of passing in 2013. The tax would go into effect next year.