Wake Commissioners Approve $450 Million School Bond Referendum

RALEIGH, N.C. — A decision about a $450 million school bond referendum will be up to the voters.

Wake County commissioners agreed Monday to put the school bond package on the October ballot. The school system will use the money to build 13 new schools and make repairs at dozens of campuses.

Some people agree that the money is necessary to help Wake County students.

“It is unbelievable how many kids attend our schools, so yes, I think there is no way around it really,” Wake County resident Tom Mozingo said.

“It’s something that just has to be done. I think it is definitely inevitable that we need more schools for our youth and education definitely should be a high priority,” Knightdale resident Cynthia Hunter said.

However, not everyone is pleased with the school bond package. Some say the package would cover the cost of building the schools, but not operating them. Some county commissioners say they may have to raise taxes to run the schools.

Critics point out that Wake County commissioners just raised property tax rates. They said they plan to fight any other proposed tax hikes.

“If it is going to raise taxes significantly or if they are not going to look at it as economically as possible, then we are going to be against any tax increase because we just had one,” said Jonathan Hill, of the North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy.

Taxpayer groups said they plan to keep an eye on the numbers and want to know where that money comes from. In 1999, a bond referendum failed by 65 percent.