WakeUP Wake County is urging people to lobby state legislators to oppose a bill that would bar counties from raising sales taxes to pay for both public education and public transportation.
As noted in today’s article, a revised version of House Bill 1224 backed by the Senate Finance Committee says that counties can raise sales taxes specifically for transit or for education, but not for both. The bill, which goes to the full Senate on Thursday, would also cap the local sales tax rate at 2.5 cents.
“Tell your senators that BOTH transit AND education are important for Wake County!” Karen Rindge, executive director of WakeUP Wake County, wrote in an action alert that went out Wednesday.
Rindge contends that the bill could “very easily cripple Wake County's plans for transit and prevent us from being able to ever raise local funding to support a comprehensive transit system.”
Rindge gives people talking points to use, such as “this bill would effectively tie Wake County's hands, meaning that we could never address BOTH transit and education through sales tax.”
If the bill passes, it would force the Wake County Board of Commissioners to change the proposed Nov. 4 referendum from a quarter-cent increase for education to a half-cent increase. You could see commissioners argue that the referendum should be postponed until a decision is made whether to raise sales taxes for education or transit.