Referendum to decide education sales tax


If approved –

Will increase security, make improvements,
reduce property tax in School District One

By David Meade

Voters in School District One will have the opportunity to vote yes or no on a referendum which provides for a one cent sales and use tax which will provide funding for specific capital improvements for local schools.

The goal of the sales tax is to reduce property tax and debt service and provide school improvement funds.

The 2014 SC Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax Act requires all districts to use 10 percent of the proceeds to reduce property taxes by offsetting the existing debt service on general obligation bonds.

The Anderson School District One Board decided earlier this year to 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.

If the referendum is approved, the funds will also be used to install, maintain and improve security and public safety in each school in the district and make improvements across the district.

The following projects will be funded in District One if the penny sales tax is approved for the County:

A high priority for District One is Safety and Security enhancements including access doors, additional cameras, entryways, fire alarms and communication equipment.

Technology Hardware and Instructional Software will be updated district wide to sustain the Digital Innovation initiative.

Also update Digital and Print Media in all school libraries; Renovate Science/STEM labs in all Schools; make roof improvements at Palmetto and Wren Middle Schools; Equipment/Program upgrades at the Anderson 1 & 2 Career & Technology Center; new band and fine arts equipment and production technologies; new activity buses for extracurricular events.

District One also 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; construct a multipurpose athletic facility at Palmetto High School, add tennis courts at Powdersville and Wren High Schools; and make HVAC improvements.

It is estimated the new tax would 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.

Ballot wording for SC Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax Act

School District One Board approves wording for referendum