Morton Vardeman and Carlson (MVC) recently wrapped up another successful sales tax marketing campaign in the 2020 passage of an E-SPLOST (education sales tax) and bond referendum in support of the Gainesville and Hall County school systems.

This one-penny sales tax has supported schoolchildren in Gainesville-Hall County since 1997 by paying for new schools, technology, and much-needed renovations. Over the past 23 years, the tax has raised over $580 million for our local schools.

While our agency typically avoids work with political candidates, we have been pleased to get behind such a worthy cause that has also helped keep property taxes in check.

The 5-year E-SPLOST was paired with a general obligation bond (we coined it the “Jump-Start Bond”), which was designed to keep school construction projects on schedule. The concept provided quite a communications challenge that was compounded by the stop-and-start election cycle upended by the pandemic. Originally planned for March, the vote was pushed back to June 9th.

An overwhelming majority of Gainesville and Hall County residents voted Yes for the E-SPLOST and companion bond.

We applaud everyone who was involved with the success of the E-SPLOST campaign – the 2020 Citizens for Better Education committee, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, school parents and volunteers.

MVC utilized public relations and an ad campaign to form a consistent, easy-to-understand message and visual design to communicate the benefits of E-SPLOST.

“With this campaign, there was no need to spin the message to influence voters,” said company President John Vardeman. “We simply focused on telling the truth and educating the public. The voters did the rest.”

MVC, which in the past has been involved with many other SPLOST campaigns for Habersham County as well as Hall, utilized digital and print flyers, eblasts, social media, yard signs, newspaper letters to the editor, and other platforms to communicate with the public.

We look forward to witnessing the many great school projects that ESPLOST will provide for many future generations of children in our hometown community.