COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Cobb County voters have approved the extension of a special purpose local option sales tax for education.
With 100 percent of votes counted, Cobb County officials said 23,284 voters approved continuing the one percent sales tax, while 17,317 voted no.
Officials said the tax is expected to bring in $773 million over the next five years to fund school construction and renovation projects across the county.
The Cobb County and city of Marietta districts will use the money to complete hundreds of capital projects, including repairing or replacing dilapidated buildings and athletic facilities, and constructing a $29 million college and career academy.
This is the 4th time Cobb voters have approved the measure in the last 15 years.
"I think the voters tonight showed that that ‘yes’ vote is why they want to continue being debt free and saving a half billion dollars in bond payments and debt payments we did not have to make," said John Loud, who led the group Supporting the Tax.
Opponents were disappointed by the vote, but still believe they are making progress in what they view as an uphill battle to defeat the ballot measures.
"I definitely think the tide is turning away from more taxes and wasteful government spending," said Lance Lamberton of the Cobb Taxpayers Association.
Despite the approval, Cobb County School District leaders said they still face an $80 million deficit in the upcoming budget.