For school improvements
By David Meade
By a fifty three to forty seven per cent margin, Anderson County voters approved the one cent sales tax referendum. The stated goal of the sales tax is to reduce property tax, reduce debt service and provide school improvement funds.
In School District One, proceeds will also be used to install, maintain and improve security and public safety in each school in the district and make other capital improvements across the district.
A high priority for District One is safety and security enhancements including access doors, additional cameras, entryways, fire alarms and communication equipment, according to Superintendent David Havird.
Twenty per cent of the revenues generated are to be used to reduce property taxes in the county.
The 2014 SC Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax Act required all districts to use at least 10 percent of the proceeds to reduce property taxes by offsetting existing debt service on general obligation bonds.
The Anderson School District One Board decided they would use 20 percent of the proceeds that would come to the district to help pay off debt for a technology bond used to purchase iPads for every student in the district.
Improvements planned in the district are inside and outside the classroom. Stated improvements are:
Technology Hardware and Instructional Software will be updated district wide to sustain the district’s Digital Innovation initiative.
District One also plans to update Digital and Print Media in all school libraries; Renovate Science/STEM labs in all Schools; make equipment and program upgrades at the Anderson Districts 1 & 2 Career & Technology Center; purchase new band and fine arts equipment, improve production technologies and purchase new activity buses for extracurricular events.
Capital improvements for District One include plans to build a six room addition to Concrete Primary School, make improvements to high school stadium and athletic fields including renovating restrooms, concession stands, field houses, walking tracks and parking areas; and construct a multipurpose athletic facility at Palmetto High School.
Also add tennis courts at Powdersville and Wren High Schools; and make HVAC improvements. Roof improvements will be made at Palmetto and Wren Middle Schools.
The new tax is expected to generate approximately $13 million per year which would be divided among the five school districts based on enrollment.
According to School District One Superintendent David Havird, the tax is estimated to generate an additional $4,129,038 for District One.
On the county level, the proceeds from the sales tax will allow construction of a Career Center to be shared by School Districts 3,4, and 5. Districts 1 & 2 already share a Career and Technology Center in Williamston.
Voters in Greenville and Oconee counties soundly rejected sales tax proposals.