The Tallapoosa County Commission did the right thing, maybe even a courageous thing given the area’s anti-tax sentiment, by deciding unanimously Monday to keep a 1-cent sales tax dedicated to education so our two school systems can raise money for badly needed new facilities.
The sales tax, originally approved in 2015, will be left in place for 30 years so the county and Alexander City school systems can acquire $85.8 million in bond money for capital projects.
Among those is a new high school in Alex City and a new elementary school in Reeltown, along with numerous upgrades to facilities in both systems. County commission chairman T.C. Coley said it would be one of the largest investments ever made in Tallapoosa County.
It’s also a smart investment. Excellent school facilities will attract new businesses and young families to the area and that’s well worth the sales tax staying in place.
The commission rightfully insisted on accountability from both school systems. The money can be used only for capital projects or debt service on such projects, not for staffing, small technology and maintenance; any deviations will require a new list of projects to be brought before the commission; regular progress reports are mandatory; and if all those stipulations are not met, the commission can rescind the sales tax at any time.
Future generations and the entire area will be benefit from Monday’s decision and we congratulate the county commission for making it.