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Chambers back schools in vote
Letter to the editor

Editor: The Richmond Hill/Bryan County and North Bryan County chambers of commerce voted unanimously to support the continuation of ESPLOST (education special purpose local option sales tax) and the Bonds Vote on March 21.

First and foremost, the Chamber is a business organization whose mission is to support, promote and attract business for the good of our community. The Bryan County School System has proven its understanding that great education equals good economic development and quality of life for local citizens which in turn enhances property values for all our residents. In today’s economy, education is not just another community function: it is the key to our success, and businesses and our local economy will grow.

Bryan County continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia and in the nation. Our school system has followed the trend growing by over 2,300 students in the last 10 years with projections to grow by almost 4,000 additional students over the next 10 years.

It makes good business sense to approve the continuation of ESPLOST, which is not a new tax and will not change the existing 7 percent sales tax in Bryan County. Approximately 52 percent of this tax is paid by non-Bryan County residents who spend dollars in Bryan County.

The bonds vote will increase the millage rate for Bryan County property owners, but the impact will be minimal: less than $15 per month on fair market value property of $300,000; $10 per month on FMV property of $200,000, and only $5 a month on FMV property of $100,000.

That’s a small price to pay to accommodate the significant growth Bryan County Schools have seen over the past decade and will continue to see for the foreseeable future, which will only continue to enhance property values in Bryan County.

The Richmond Hill/Bryan County and North Bryan County chambers of commerce are proud to endorse the ESPLOST/bonds vote on March 21. We encourage our members and all Bryan County registered voters to invest in the future of our schools, our children and our community by voting "Yes" on March 21.

Trace Palmer

Chairman, RHBC Chamber of Commerce

Sarah Williams

Chairwoman, NBC Chamber of Commerce

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