Counties and taxes

A weekend discussion about various proposals to raise sales taxes, triggered by this email.

Orange County Introduces Sales Tax Educational Website

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – Orange County announces a new website to help educate voters on the Sales and Use Tax Referendum. The website also provides feedback to public questions on the referendum.

Information on the sales tax referendum is available on the Orange County website, . The website includes links to sample ballots, tax rates for surrounding counties and answers to frequently asked questions.

On November 2, 2010, Orange County voters will have the opportunity to vote “For” or “Against” a ¼ of a penny sales tax increase. If passed, the Board of Commissioners committed to the following disbursement for funds for the next 5 years.

- 42.5% schools (Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Schools)

- 42.5% economic development

- 15% divided equitably between emergency medical services and libraries

The proposed County Sales and Use Tax should help decrease dependence on property tax and does not apply to groceries, gas or most prescription medications.
The Orange County Financial Services Department estimates, based on current sales tax figures, that the one-fourth of a penny sales and use tax would generate approximately $2,300,000 annually.

Voters need to be aware that straight ticket votes will not automatically yield a “For” or “Against” vote on the referendum. Straight ticket voters must indicate for or against the County Sales and Use Tax on the ballot in order for the vote to be counted.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution in support of the ¼ of a cent sales tax on Tuesday, October 5, 2010.


Surprising points of view from surprising people

Is there a sales tax debate in your county?

We've already had that debate here in New Hanover

and the voters passed a 1/4 cent increase just now effective. The county said they would shut down our libraries, among other things, if we didn't pass it. I think something less than 2000 people voted. For a county our size, that was an expression of apathy. Meanwhile our commissioners continue to pee our money away (Titan Cement, Red light cameras that cost the taxpayer every time a ticket is issued since the money has to go to the schools and can't pay for the camera equipment). I voted for the tax, but I'm starting to oppose any new taxes because they're immediately wasted....generally.

I think I'd vote against the tax in Wake. Schools already get enough money and I wouldn't be happy about paying for "economic development" that I had no input into.

Stan Bozarth

I support the tax increase

Orange County has generally had enlightened leadership, though there's much tension between north and south, with Chapel Hill and Carrboro holding down the latter. I want county government to have extraordinary performance, not just passable services.