Local News

Wake considers putting teacher raises to a vote

Posted July 13, 2014

— After a heated, 45-minute debate, Wake County Commissioners Monday decided to vote in August on a potential November ballot sales tax referendum.

The quarter-cent sales tax increase would be used to give teachers a raise and possibly fund other education-related initiatives. Officials in Mecklenburg and Guilford counties have already approved similar referendums for November.

The county estimates that if approved, the increase could bring in an additional $27 million in revenue. Based on census data, a family with a median income of about $66,000 would see an average yearly impact of about $40.

“North Carolina is not competitive with teacher salaries within the nation; we cannot let Wake County be far behind in local supplement within our state,” Commissioner Caroline Sullivan read from a prepared statement.

She added that voters should decide if the county should increase teacher salaries.

“If they do not, we cannot levy the tax,” she said.

Last month, Commissioners approved a small raise that would increase the local supplement between $200 and $300 per teacher, adding to the base salary set by the state.

The vote for the referendum will take place at the commission’s regular meeting Aug. 4, the last day that commissioners can add a referendum in time for the Wake County Board of Elections to print the Nov. 4 ballots.

READ MORE: Raleigh Public Record: Teacher pay sales tax voted slated for August

WRAL.com has a content sharing partnership with Raleigh Public Record, a non-profit online news organization focused on coverage of Raleigh and local government.

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  • tgiv Jul 14, 2014

    So NOW it's let the voters decide? Where was that spirit of democracy when the Commissioners lobbied the legislature to give them control of school building funds? Why did they not seek the opinion of the electorate then?