The Orange County Board of Commissioners could decide tonight whether to ask voters to approve an additional 1/4-cent sales tax in a November referendum.
Current state and county sales taxes add up to 7.75 percent in Orange County, and the new tax would bring the total to 8 percent.
Commissioners have not yet decided how they would use the extra sales tax.
Because of the economic recession, the county's share has been dwindling along with overall state sales tax revenues. A memo from County Manager Frank Clifton suggests additional sales tax would decrease the county's reliance on property taxes.
The quarter-cent tax would generate about $2.3 million per year, according to the memo.
Under current law, the new tax could take effect no sooner than July 1, 2011, but the N.C. General Assembly is considering a bill that would move up the permitted start date to April 1, creating a potential revenue stream of about $575,000 for the last three months of next fiscal year.
Commissioners need to decide by mid-August whether to take the referendum to the voters, but they'll soon go on summer break. Clifton is also asking them to consider spending $40,000 to educate voters on the additional tax and how it would be used.