A brief history of the special purpose local option sales tax


1985: Special purpose local option sales tax is created by Georgia Legislature. It gives counties the option to impose a 1-cent sales tax with the money collected from the tax to be used for a list of capital improvement projects, but it must be approved by voters.




• The sales tax extended to school districts

• Richmond County voters approve first local option sales tax for schools. Purpose: Pay off a 1996 bond (also approved by voters) for Phase I of the district’s $300 million School Improvement Program and pay for a new elementary school (Freedom Park Elementary on Fort Gordon).

• First completed local option sales tax-funded projects, all in October: roof repair and replacement at George P. Butler High, John Milledge Elementary, Windsor Spring Elementary


1999: Cross Creek High School, $21.9 million, completed (biggest ticket item of Phase I)


2002: Richmond County voters approve a second sales tax, the second phase of paying off a $300 million bond from 1996, and several new projects


2004: Richmond County Board of Education moves into new headquarters at 864 Broad St. The building was paid for with tax’s revenue.


2005: Municipalities given required share of county local option sales tax revenues



• Phase III of the tax approved

• New athletic complex at Laney High School ($13.5 million); renovations of C.T. Walker Traditional Model School ($10 million); new Deer Chase Elementary ($10.8 million); new Diamond Lakes Elementary ($11.3 million), all completed and funded by phase II of the tax.


2007: W.S. Hornsby School completed ($17 million, funded by phase II)


2009: New Pine Hill Middle School completed ($20 million, funded by phase III)


2010: New Butler High gym, façade and administrative area, track ($10.5 million); new Hephzibah High football stadium/athletic complex, gym and HVAC renovations ($13.7 million)


2011: Renovations to Tubman Education Center (formerly Tubman Middle School) completed ($10.2 million, funded by phase III)



• Phase IV up for a vote Tuesday

• Scheduled completions of replacement John Milledge Elementary, new Richmond County Technical Careers Magnet School, replacement Dorothy Hains Traditional Elementary Magnet (all funded by phase III)



Savannah River Site resumes normal activity

A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

... Read more