Wake Ed

May 16, 2014

Discussing a Wake County sales-tax referendum for education

The Wake County Board of Commissioners has the option of putting on this November’s ballot a referendum to raise sales taxes by a quarter cent to fund education.

Should the Wake County Board of Commissioners give the public a chance to vote on raising sales taxes to pay for higher teacher salaries?

That idea was floated in last week’s issue of In Context, the newsletter of the Wake Education Partnership, as a way to meet the Wake County school system’s request for a $39.3 million funding increase. The WEP says the commissioners would have to make a decision by Aug. 1 if they wanted a referendum for a quarter-cent sales tax on education funding to be on this November’s ballot.

“This would not be an increase in property tax, something the commissioners want to avoid, and would generate approximately $28 million dollars,” the WEP writes.

Voters in other counties such as Durham have backed raising sales taxes to pay for education.

County commissioners Caroline Sullivan and Betty Lou Ward said earlier this week that while the idea has been discussed privately, there’s been no public talk about asking for a sales-tax referendum this year.

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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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