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Thursday, July 17, 2014

N.C. Bill would pit transit against education

Posted by on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 2:19 PM

In the waning days of the General Assembly’s protracted short session, the state Senate is getting crafty about what counties would be allowed use their tax dollars for.  

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee passed a revised version of House Bill 1224. It gives all North Carolina counties the right to hold a referendum on whether to raise their sales taxes to a rate of no more than 2.5 percent, with revenues going to either public transportation or education, but not to both.

And education tax money would be appropriated by a County's Board of Commissioners, not its Board of Education.

Durham and Orange Counties, which have already voted to raise taxes ¼ cent for education and ½ cent for transit, would be grandfathered in under the legislation.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners is slated to vote in early August on whether to put a ¼ cent tax rate hike for education on November’s ballot.

If the education sales tax passes, Wake County voters would not get a choice in whether their tax money could go to public transportation down the line.

The bill is on the Senate calendar for Monday, the same day Wake County Commissioners are scheduled to hold a transit work session.

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Wake County's tax rate is 2 percent; it would not be allowed to split a .5 percent tax rate increase between education and transportation


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