Pittsylvania County sales tax to help pay for capital projects at area schools

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – Pittsylvania County residents approved a new sales tax in this year’s election to help pay for area school capital projects.

Starting July 2023, most purchases made in Pittsylvania County will incur a 1% sales tax increase. This tax will apply to purchases made in the county other than groceries, drugs and agricultural products.

Money from these taxes will be used to help with Pittsylvania County Schools Capital Projects.

These projects include:

  • Removal of mobile units and addition of new classrooms

  • Replace obsolete building infrastructure such as roofs and heating/cooling systems

  • Develop more secure access control

  • Improve traffic flow and safety

  • Build innovative learning environments

Superintendent Mark Jones said many of the projects relate to student safety.

“That’s what we heard from parents. They want our schools to be safe,” Jones said.

Many of its facilities – and in particular the elementary schools and the Vocational and Technical Center – have become obsolete. Passing the tax referendum will allow schools in Pittsylvania County to match the quality of its facilities with the success of its students.

Sales tax was already on the ballot. Pittsylvania County public relations officer Caleb Ayers said last year he lost by a very narrow margin.

“He failed by 14 votes. So in the grand scheme of things, it’s a very, very small percentage,” Ayers said.

The tax is very advantageous for the schools because they only have about $700,000 a year to pay for the projects. In total, the projects will cost approximately $7 million.

“It will be around $3 million a year. This is going to be used to fund, fund payments for a significant amount of school capital projects,” Ayers said.

Ayers also said the supervisory board was ready for this tax from the start.

“The supervisory board from the start, last year and this year, has been very supportive of this unanimously,” Ayers said.

Jones said he would meet with his team in the spring to really start looking at future plans for these projects, with funding expected to begin in July 2023.

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Sallie R. Loera