The SPLOST referendum gets 'Yes' vote

SPLOST reaction

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The results are in. Muscogee County voters say "Yes" to proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or SPLOST.

With 27 precincts reporting and 600 mail-in ballots tallied, the voters have spoken:

Yes – 8,938

No – 7,596

The numbers were close for a while but in the end, the "yes" votes beat out the "no's" by just over 1,300 votes as Muscogee County voters approved a penny sales tax increase to pay for school improvement projects.

The sales tax in Muscogee County will now be raised from seven percent to eight percent to benefit Muscogee County Schools.

Officials say voter turnout was about 17 percent. 54 percent of the votes were in favor of the SPLOST leaving 46 percent to vote no.

Muscogee County Superintendent David Lewis is thanking the community while a leader on the other side of the SPLOST debate, Frank Myers, is ready to start tackling important issues in our schools.

"We'll be appointing a new SPLOST advisory committee comprised of citizens who will help provide oversight throughout the 5-year period, and to ensure we are in fact spending the money the way it was designated on the referendum," Lewis said.

"More importantly than anything else I'm calling on the superintendent to address the issue of the nearly 20 percent of failing schools in our public school system. You can build as many nice buildings as you want to, but until the children are put into a position where they can learn, it doesn't really matter what environment you put them in," Myers said.

There are several projects on the list for the SPLOST tax that will raise about $200 million over the next several years one of them being a new Spencer high school priced at $56 million.

Certification for this election will be held on Friday, March 20 by the Elections Board. They are unofficial and incomplete until that time.

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