Wake County officials scheduled to debate tax increase
Posted June 28
Updated June 29
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County residents could soon see a sales tax increase, creating additional revenue for teachers' salaries.
Wake County Commissioner Caroline Sullivan says the board is scheduled to begin debating the tax increase next month. The one quarter of a cent tax would be applied to most items except food, medicine and gas.
According to Sullivan, the tax could raise as much as $28 million for Wake County next year.
Holly Springs Mayor Richard Sears said he hopes officials let the voters decide.
"It may be a close vote. You've got four Republicans that are running for office and I would understand their minimal reluctance to put it on the ballot, but at the same time it doesn't cost to put it on the ballot and let the citizens decide what they want to do. I can't see the argument against that," he said.
Taxpayer Willamina O'Keeffe says she wouldn't mind paying the extra tax.
"I don't even really know what the sales tax is currently, and I would not notice an additional quarter percent," she said.
Taxpayer Jeremy McLoud questioned whether that's the best approach.
"It'd have to be a permanent thing. Otherwise, you're going to tell somebody some supplement to your income is going to go away," he said. "I mean, it sounds nice and everybody wants to pay teachers a little bit more, but is that the best way to handle that salary negotiation?"
Supporters of the tax hike would like to see the referendum on the November ballot. Officials in Mecklenburg and Guilford counties have already voted to put the tax on the ballot.