Friday, December 28, 2001
School system's tax vote goes splat
Coweta school officials were scratching their heads early in 2001 after voters narrowly rejected an extension of the special purpose local option sales tax Tuesday.
The measure failed by 98 votes, 3,221 to 3,123. School board member Rick Melville, who watched the returns come in at the county's administrative complex, said the vote will really hurt one group in the county.
"I really feel sorry for the children. That's who this is going to affect the most," he said.
Melville couldn't speculate what the school system's next move would be, but did have a theory as to why the vote failed.
He said that Bill Griggers, who represented many of the county's senior citizens, had pushed for the vote against the tax when the school board failed to offer seniors any relief on the school portion of their property taxes.
"I think it's two totally separate issues," Melville said.
The board had planned to use more than $60 million of the projected $94 million for new construction, with the balance used to pay off the system's bonds.
By the end of the year, board officials were working towards getting a legislative proposal passed to give some tax relief to seniors and also contemplating calling for another SPLOST vote in 2002.