Early voting underway for ESPLOST
Early voting started Monday morning at the Jones County Government Center Elections Office for the March 21 special election.
The election is for the sole purpose of the renewal of the existing Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, and that is the only question on the ballot.
Early voting began at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27. Voting will continue from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until the final day of early voting, March 17.
No voting is available Monday, March 20, but all Jones County precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, for the special election day.
The first ESPLOST was approved by Jones County voters in 1998. Since its inception the sales tax funds were used to build Clifton Ridge Middle School, Dames Ferry Elementary, Wells Elementary, Gray Station Middle School, Turner Woods Elementary, the new Gray Elementary, as well as the purchase of school buses.
The one-cent sales tax is paid by everyone who shops in Jones County, including visitors. Projects proposed for the use of the ESPLOST funds include renovation and the expansion of Jones County High School, and repairing, improving, upgrading, and equipment for all schools in the Jones County School District. Specific projects are listed on the election ballot.
If approved, the renewed one-cent sales tax would go into effect when the existing sales tax expires in 2018. The SPLOST is anticipated to collect $13 million over five years.