Meck Co. commissioners propose sales tax hike to pay for teacher - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Meck Co. commissioners propose sales tax hike to pay for teachers' compensation

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Some Mecklenburg County Commissioners say they've come up with a plan for what they believe will be "sustainable funding" of education in the county. But it will be up to voters to decide if they want to pay for it.

The Chair of the Board, Commissioner Trevor Fuller, told WBTV that five commissioners are on board to sponsor a proposal to put before voters a November referendum for a quarter cent {1/4} sales tax increase.

The Chair said state law permits the board to put it on the ballot.

Chair Fuller said the fact is "these are our teachers, our students," and the state doesn't want to seem to do anything. This proposal allows county leaders to give Mecklenburg County voters a chance to weigh in and see if they want to fund teacher compensation.

If Mecklenburg County voters pass it, the money will be used to fund compensation for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

Commissioners estimate the sales tax hike will generate between $30 million-to-$35 million.

Chair Fuller said it's a long term sustainable plan funding. If it passes, the county won't begin to see the money until April 2015. It will impact next fiscal year.

Here is a breakdown:

75 percent of the money from the quarter of a penny hike will go to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools; 10 percent to Central Piedmont Community College; 10 percent to libraries; and five percent to cultural offerings.

Currently, five commissioners {majority} support the plan. Democrats: Chair Trevor Fuller; Vice Chair Dumont Clark; Commissioners Vilma Leake, George Dunlap and Kim Ratliff.

They still have to convince three republicans - Commissioners Bill James, Karen Bentley, and Matthew Ridenhour; and the other democrat, Commissioner Pat Cotham to support the proposal.

Chair Fuller said the proposal will be unveiled at the BOCC June 17th regular meeting.  

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