Plan to give county schools more power in tax split fails in House 

Legislation that would give county schools more power to negotiate with local city schools on how to split tax dollars failed in the Georgia House on Tuesday. 

The House voted 74-101 to defeat Senate Resolution 95, a proposed constitutional amendment. Rep. Randy Nix, R-LaGrange, carried the bill in the House. 

Afterward, Nix gave notice that he plans to ask colleagues on Wednesday to reconsider their vote. It takes 120 votes to pass a constitutional amendment.

The resolution would allow county school systems to unilaterally call for a special local option sales tax referendum, with or without the support of a local city school district in the same county. 

Current law says the proceeds of such a tax are distributed based on enrollment. SR 95 would change still allow that ratio to be used, but only if the county and city systems fail to agree on a different distribution.  

Rep. Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown, said the resolution could hurt independent city schools, which are often superior to county systems. 

“I would ask that this body vote against this legislation because we need to have a broader conversation about this and understand the impact it can have on all the independent school systems in this state,” Kelley said. 

But Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, said it is the city schools that are choking the revenue streams of the larger county systems. 

"If you have two school superintendents negotiating on a fair distribution of ESPLOST, the one who gets the legs cut out from the them is the growing, large county school system that needs the money to build new schools,” Jones said. 

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