What is ESPLOST?

ESPLOST stands for Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. 

In short, it is a one cent sales tax on all retail sales in Early County.  It is NOT a property tax and it is NOT a new tax; it is a continuation of an existing one-cent sales tax on all retail purchases in Early County.  An ESPLOST provides a method of funding the cost of educational improvements that everyone pays, not just property owners. 

On Tuesday, May 21, 2024,  voters in Early County face a very important vote affecting the future of our children and our school system. A local ESPLOST referendum is being held to decide whether the school system can continue the ESPLOST, a one cent sales tax. Early County voters have supported this one cent sales tax for education since 1997.

Please read this ESPLOST Executive Summary if you would like more information. 

Use of ESPLOST Funds

ESPLOST funds can be used for many things. 

Building Renovations

Technology Hardware



New Buildings

Athletic Equipment


HVAC Purchases & Repairs

Office Equipment

Band Uniforms & Instruments

Maintenance Vehicles

Classroom Equipment

Previous Early County School System ESPLOST Projects: 


Is this a sales tax increase?

NO!  Early County sales tax will remain at its current level.  If approved, the May 21st, 2024 referendum will simply allow the school system to continue collecting a one penny sales tax already in place to be used solely for education. 

ESPLOST provides a method for funding the cost of educational improvements that EVERYONE pays. This is important because sales tax is paid by everyone who shops, stays in, or passes through Early County.

By law, an E-SPLOST must be renewed by popular vote. 

Can ESPLOST funds be used for salaries?

ESPLOST funds can be used for many things, but NOT for salaries. For more information, visit the GADOE website that explains how the funds can be used. https://www.gadoe.org/Finance-and-Business-Operations/Facilities-Services/Pages/Splost.aspx

How much money does our school system currently receive from ESPLOST?

E-SPLOST revenue generates approximately $143,000 monthly or $1,716,000 annually.  

How does ESPLOST affect my annual property taxes?

E-SPLOST dollars help keep property taxes stable because facility improvements can be paid from the one cent sales tax rather than using local property tax revenue.

In the last 6 months of 2023, nearly $858,000 in ESPLOST was collected. The current value of a mill in Early County is nearly $491,000. E-SPLOST generates a savings of almost 3.5 mills to the property owners of Early County and keeps property taxes lower! 

When is the ESPLOST vote?

The election is Tuesday, May 21, 2024.  The polls will be open from 7:00a.m. until 7:00p.m.  

This webpage is for information purposes only. 

We encourage all Early County School System stakeholders and community members to be informed and to vote on May 21, 2024.

Early CountyElementary School
Early CountyMiddle School
Early CountyHigh School
Early CountySchool System
Early CountySchool System
Early CountySchool System

11927 Columbia Street I Blakely, Georgia 39823 I Phone: (229)723-4337 I Fax: (229)723-8183