Muscogee SPLOST forum seeks voters ahead of March ballot

Muscogee SPLOST forum seeks voters ahead of March ballot

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or SPLOST referendum - it's stirring up controversy within the Muscogee County School Board and in the public's eye.

But to help clear the air, public forums will be taking place for public comment.

The first forum was at Downtown Elementary Magnet School.

After a vote last week, the school board decided to let residents in the county vote on the passing on the one cent sales tax. The money will help fund school improvements.

The Muscogee County School Board is split on the SPLOST referendum. Those against it are saying an audit of school funding needed to take place before it was sent to the voters. Some who will vote yes says it will help improve the education of the children in the district.

Residents of Muscogee County will vote on the SPLOST referendum on March 17, but until then, they'll have the chance to speak out on this proposal. Most say they are in favor of a one percent sales tax increase.

"For a person that does not have to deal with that and I know lot of people thats scared cause they don't want to pay that little extra money, but you have to think about the kids and the good its going to do for them," said grandmother Betty Cobb.

The previous Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax expired in December. If renewed, the new SPLOST funding is set to help build a new Spencer High School, improve programming for children with autism and several projects for educational purposes.

Cobb says this is especially important to her.

"I have two grandkids that go to school and they have special needs too and its good. I think it's a good thing," said Cobb.

At their Jan. 20 meeting, the Muscogee County School Board voted in favor of letting residents to say yes or no at the polls to this referendum. Two board members strongly rejected the idea, but one elementary school employee tells us SPLOST funding will improve the school district.

"The teachers are telling them to do things on the computer and they don't even have a computer. They have to come to the library to get on the computer and then it's full. So spend it on something like that, let them do it in the school and get more computers." said Pamela Barboza.

Superintendent David Lewis will use the information from the public forums and present them to the school board. These SPLOST forums will be going on until March 10.

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