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The Wake County school board proposed another property tax increase just 92 days after voters gave them permission to spend over $ 500 million to build new schools.
In 1999, N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy organized the effort against the school bond tax proposal, a proposal voters rejected by a 2-1 ratio. Prior to entering that campaign we at NCCSE requested our elected officials convene a citizens committee to find ways to build needed schools without raising taxes. The board refused and said their plan, which would have raised taxes over 40 percent, was the only way to build schools. They were wrong.
After voters decisively rejected the board's plan to raise taxes, a citizens advisory committee was formed. It provided a plan to build schools without raising taxes. I am proud to have served on that committee.
Why is the board now refusing to discuss having a citizens committee of Wake County's brightest minds review the school budget to find ways to provide for classroom needs without raising taxes?
We worked hard to unite our community and present a plan to build schools Wake County could support. But the school board immediately proposed raising our taxes 10 percent. Now our Wake County manager has proposed a budget that will give the school system a reasonable 6 percent budget increase without raising taxes.
Once again, we call on the school board to do what is right - accept the 6 percent budget increase that does not raise taxes, and work with county leaders to form a citizens committee to review the school system budget and find a way to provide for classroom needs without raising taxes. The citizens and children of Wake County deserve no less.
N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy