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March 5--  Voters in Treutlen County can avoid a property tax increase by approving continuation of a one percent local option sales tax for education when they go to vote Tuesday.

School Superintendent Chuck Ellington reminds voters the sales tax money is needed to repay a local bond issue which voters approved back in 2007 to build a new K-12 school.

"The ESPLOST vote is actually for a continuation of the current ESPLOST so we can make the bond payments without a tax increase for property owners," Ellington says.

The Superintendent says a property tax increase of over four mils would be needed if the ESPLOST is not approved.

The new $18 million school is under construction on Hiigway 29 north of Soperton.  Nearly $8 milliion of the cost is being paid for by locally financed school construction bonds.

"The bonds have been sold and we need the ESPLOST to continue making the bond payments," Ellington says.

The Superintendent says construction of the school is a bit ahead of schedule and he expects it to open this Fall.