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Sales tax increase may return to Orange ballot

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Orange County voters may get asked to approve a quarter-cent sales-tax increase again, a year after narrowly rejecting it.

The county commissioners may seek the increase – an additional 25 cents on a $100 purchase – to protect school funding against possible state cuts and to boost economic development.

“Under normal circumstances you wouldn’t consider putting it on” the ballot this year, commissioners Chair Bernadette Pelissier said. “But the rules of the game, particularly at the state level, are changing so rapidly.”    

The last time, the referendum lost 51 percent to 49 percent. Voters in Chapel Hill-Carrboro narrowly voted for it; those in rural precincts voted 2-to-1 against it.

Commissioner Earl McKee, who represents Hillsborough and the county’s rural voters in District 2, opposes revisiting the sales tax increase in 2011. With only municipal races on the ballot, he said few rural voters would turn out.

“I supported it  last year. I continue to support it,” he said today, after loading soybeans on his Caldwell farm. “I just do not support it bringing it [back] in 2011.”

Look for more on this story coming in Sunday's Chapel Hill News.


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If we want services, we need economic development

At least in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, we were in support and remain in support of the 1/4 cent sales tax in order to maintain quality schools, parks and recreation, libraries and the other municipal services that we rely on. The initiative is critical so that there is increased economic development - particularly the addition of infrastructure in the NW - to decrease the reliance on property taxes to fund the schools and services.
Given the anticipated cuts to education from the federal and state levels, any additional funding for schools would also be most welcome.
It is a shame that T-A-X is seen as a four letter word. It clearly has only three letters. From the point of view of municipal government, it is INCOME or REVENUE. That actually is not an inherently evil thing. The spending provides services for the citizens. Let's hear it for revenue and services!

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Tax and Spend, Tax and Spend

When will liberals like Pelissier learn that in spite of multiple attempts, the transfer tax and the sales tax were voted DOWN.  PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THEIR TAXES RAISED.

Here's hoping she gets voted back to whatever job she was doing before she darkened the door of the BOCC when she is next up for election.

So nauseating.

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About the blogger

Mark Schultz is the editor of The Chapel Hill News and The Durham News.