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School bond and tax elections in Georgia

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School bond and tax elections in Georgia happen under two circumstances:
  • Exceed the 20 mill levy limit set by the Georgia Constitution.
  • To impose new sales taxes to fund educational purposes.

Laws affecting school finance

20 Mill limit

Georgia is one of three states that has a constitutionally protected levy limit. Georgia has a 20 mill levy limit protected by the Georgia Constitution. Georgia is also one of a the states that uses the mill rate formula over a lengthy mathematical formula in calculating property tax levy limits.[1] The Georgia Constitution only allows for the purpose of levy elections to exceed the levy limit or to remove the levy itself.[2]

Sales tax for Education

Georgia has a constitutionally protected sales tax for education. Georgia uses the sales tax to fund capital outlays that are used for capital improvements and to retire previous debts and obligations. The voters in a county can vote to approve up to an additional one percent sales tax to fund educational projects. If an additional sales tax is approved, then the tax must discontinue after five years from when its first implemented.[3]

Conduct of the bond election, limitations, rules

Authority conducting elections

All elections involving school finances are conducted by the respective County elections board.[4]

Election dates

In odd-numbered years elections can be held on the third Tuesday in March or on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In even numbered years, the elections can be held on the date of a Presidential preference primary if that year has such an election, the general primary election which is held in July, and the general election in the first Tuesday in November.[5]

Needed majority

A simple majority is needed in order to pass a school levy or sales tax election.[6]

Special elections

All school levy and sales tax elections in Georgia are considered special elections regardless of when the election is held. [7] .

Wording of measures

There are no restrictions under Georgia Law on the wording of ballot measures.

Required notice of bond election

29 days must elapse before any referendum involving school finance is called in Georgia.[8]

References

  1. "Lexis Nexis" Georgia Constitution(Referenced Section Ga. Const. Art. VIII, § VI, Para. I)
  2. "Lexis Nexis" Georgia Constitution(Referenced Section Ga. Const. Art. VIII, § VI, Para. II)
  3. "Lexis Nexis" Georgia Constitution(Referenced Section Ga. Const. Art. VIII, § VI, Para. IV)
  4. "Lexis Nexis" Code of Georgia(Referenced Statute O.C.G.A. § 21-2-45)
  5. "Lexis Nexis" Code of Georgia(Referenced Statute § 21-2-540 (C)(2))
  6. "LexisNexis" Georgia Constitution(Referenced Section Ga. Const. Art. VIII, § VI, Para. II)
  7. "Lexis Nexis" Code of Georgia(Referenced Statute § 21-2-540 (C)(2))
  8. "Lexis Nexis" Code of Georgia(Referenced Statute § 21-2-540 (C)(2))