Coweta ESPLOST receipts edging up

A Sept. 13 report to the Coweta County Board of Education indicated that the recent downward trend in the school system’s collections of 1-cent sales tax (ESPLOST) revenues may have turned the corner.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance Keith Chapman told board members that on a year-to-year basis the overall picture shows the school system “still seeing good dollars coming in.”

Collections from September 2010 through August 2011 showed a .19 percent, or $36,488, increase over the previous period. Collections for the period totaled $19,188,256. That is good news, considering the ongoing effects of the Great Recession and Coweta’s high unemployment numbers.

Looking back over the past several years the high mark for ESPLOST collections came in the September 2007-August 2008 period when receipts showed $21 million collected.

The next period, in-line with the recession, brought collections of $20.34 million, a 3.38 percent decrease. And the situation continued during the following period with collections falling another 5.58 percent to $19.15 million.

Continued by Coweta voters earlier this year, ESPLOST revenues are planned for a large number of school renovations, additions and improvements along with the purchase of school buses, textbooks, technology and, potentially, two new schools.