PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – Residents in Pittsylvania County approved a new sales tax in this year’s election to help pay for capital projects for area schools.
Starting in July 2023, most purchases made in Pittsylvania County will have a 1% sales tax increase. This tax will apply to purchases made in the county other than from groceries, medicines, and agricultural products.
The money from these taxes will go to help Pittsylvania County Schools’ capital projects.
These projects include:
- Removing mobile units and adding new classrooms
- Replacing outdated building infrastructures like roofs and heating/cooling systems
- Developing more secure access control
- Improving traffic flow and safety
- Constructing innovative learning environments
Superintendent Mark Jones said many of the projects are related to students’ safety.
“This is what we’ve heard from parents. They want our schools to be safe,” Jones said.
Many of its facilities – and particularly the elementary schools and Career and Technical Center – have become outdated. The passage of the tax referendum will allow Pittsylvania County Schools to match the quality of its facilities with the success of its students.
The sales tax has been on the ballot before. Caleb Ayers, Pittsylvania County Public Relations Manager, said last year it lost by a very slim margin.
“It failed by 14 votes. So in the grand scheme of things that is a very, very small percentage,” Ayers said.
The tax is very beneficial for the schools as they only have about $700,000 annually to pay for the projects. Altogether, the projects will cost around $7-milllion.
“It will be about 3 million dollars a year. That’s going to be used for finance, finance payments for a significant amount of school capital projects,” Ayers said.
Ayers also said the Board of Supervisors has been ready for this tax since the beginning.
“The board of supervisors from the beginning, both last year and this year has been very supportive of this unanimously,” Ayers said.
Jones said he will be meeting with his staff in the spring to really start looking over future plans for these projects with the funding set to begin in July of 2023.