SPLOST tax income tops projections
by Lindsay Field
December 10, 2012 09:50 PM | 2551 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Ragsdale (MDJ/File)
Chris Ragsdale (MDJ/File)
MARIETTA — For the first time since July, SPLOST III collections have exceeded projections made by Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business.

On Monday, the Cobb County School District’s Facilities and Technology Committee, tasked with overseeing SPLOST-related projects, reviewed SPLOST III collections, considered approval of its 2012 annual report and heard from a Teasley Elementary School representative asking for her school to be one of the first to see construction if SPLOST IV is approved in March.

According to the KSU forecast, an additional $282,296, or 2.8 percent, was collected in November over what projected, bringing in a total of $10.2 million for the month.

“We are very excited to see this trend turn around, and hopefully it will continue,” Deputy Superintendent of Maintenance and Operations Chris Ragsdale said. “It was quite significant.”

For the last three months, Cobb Schools has collected less sales tax than projected, approximately $837,621 in all, and in October alone, there was a decrease in expected revenue by $644,311.

Ragsdale said the additional collections in the month of November are typically due to shopping events like Black Friday.

F&T Chair Kimberley Euston asked Ragsdale if Cobb Schools used the same projection formula as the county, which has recently seen a surplus, but Ragsdale said he did not know.

Since January, Cobb Schools has collected $113.5 million in SPLOST III funds, about $1.5 million over projections, and a total of $440.6 million since it was launched Jan. 1, 2009.

The group, with seven members absent, also unanimously approved submitting its 2012 annual report to the Cobb County School Board Thursday night.

The 10-page report, which is the seventh one ever submitted by the committee, outlines the SPLOST III notebook goals, prioritizing safety and education issues above others for the third project list, and what their role was in preparing the SPLOST IV notebook.

The group met for more than 36 hours in 2012, in addition to visiting schools, talking to principals and community leaders, seeing SPLOST projects delivered first hand and researching individual SPLOST topics.

The annual report was supposed to be submitted in October but Euston asked that they delay turning it in until after the SPLOST IV vote in November.

In other news, a member of Teasley Elementary’s School Council made a statement during public comments asking the district that when prioritizing SPLOST IV projects they include the Smyrna school in the first group of projects to go under construction.

“We know that the SPLOST vote occurred last month but we wanted to thank you for your efforts and the items that have been included in the notebook for the consideration in March for Teasley,” council chair Susanne Saad said. “We want to ask you that when the projects are implemented that we would be considered in the first tier of those schools to have those projects looked at and worked on. We really are in need for some facility improvements.”

Saad said the school was originally built in 1961 and while there have been improvements since then, the school is in “dire” need of additional space.

The school currently serves 733 students in Kindergarten through fifth grade. According to 2007 projections, it should only have about 504 students enrolled this year, she said.
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