Does Cynthia Matson have the power to levy federal taxes?

Cynthia Matson is a candidate for the District 5 seat on the Wake County Board of Education.  Matt Goodall of Mordecai confronts Ms. Matson is a letter published by the News & Observer.

At the District 5 school board candidate forum, Cynthia Matson declared that schools in less fortunate neighborhoods could keep up with peers in high-fundraising neighborhoods by applying for every federal grant possible. Matson’s opponent did point out that federal grants do indeed come from tax revenue, something she vowed not to raise.

As you may know, school boards in North Carolina do not have taxing authority.  Boards of education rely on county commissions to set the tax rate and appropriate a portion of the revenue to the public school district(s) in the county.  For these reasons, Ms. Matson’s platform states that the Wake County Schools “must be better stewards of our tax dollars” but says nothing about the issue of the tax rate.

But this letter writer takes it one step further.  Mr. Goodall implies that Ms. Matson vowed not to raise federal taxes, which, after all, is the primary source of funding for federal grants. Ms. Matson has no control over the federal tax rate or federal expenditures.  She simply wants schools to use the resources made available by those who do have control over these things.

The United States Constitution does not grant school board members the power to raise federal taxes.  Fortunately, Ms. Matson knows this.  She passed 4th grade civics.  Mr. Goodall could use a refresher course.

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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