Sales Tax Flexibility Not Enough to Solve Georgia’s School Funding Crisis

Bill Analysis: House Resolution 1109 and House Bill 802

The General Assembly is considering putting a constitutional amendment to a statewide vote to give school districts greater flexibility to spend sales tax money. Districts continue to struggle financially due to ongoing cuts in state funding, including an austerity cut of about $750 million planned for the 2015 fiscal year. If passed by the General Assembly and approved by voters, House Resolution 1109 would allow school districts to hold a referendum to allow up to half of revenue from an Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) for educational materials and programs. The special tax now is limited to capital expenses, such as building and renovating schools, or to eliminate existing debt. House Bill 802 specifies the types of educational programs that could qualify for ESPLOST money.  Download the bill analysis.

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