Sale tax hike + school bond referendum in Guilford County?

As I’ve posted earlier, Guilford County is considering a huge school bond—perhaps as high as $1 billion—to go on the November ballot. But–always the question–how to pay for it? Rhino Times reports county commissioners are mulling—wait for it—a quarter-cent sales tax hikes to help pay for the school bond:

Before you go out and spend anywhere from $750 million to $1 billion, probably the first thing you do is figure out how to get your hands on that kind of money.

And, right now, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is asking itself that very question – since there’s a great deal of agreement among Guilford County commissioners and Guilford County School officials that that amount is needed for a first-round of school repairs, construction and other school capital projects.

….The current Board of Commissioners, however, has a strong aversion to raising property taxes, and the board is looking at putting a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the ballot in November, one that would likely go along with a bond referendum of major proportions.

That’s going to be a lot for voters to digest this election season. Given the history of both issues, the odds are strong the school bond will pass but the sales tax hike will not. The Rhino notes the 2008 school bond referendum totaling $600 passed, but a sales tax hike has been voted down several times. But I guess commissioners figure if you don’t ask for it, you don’t get it.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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