WHEN: Tonight, Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Commissioners' Meeting Room, 2nd floor of the Historic Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Square, Carthage (map)
THE GOAL: Get SB 727 out of committee and to the NCGA for a vote.
NOT THE QUESTION (this week): Should Moore Co. approve a .0025% sales tax to fund school construction? This is a necessary and important debate but we have four months for that. Right now the issue is getting it on the November ballot.
DETAILS: According The Pilot, Representative Jamie Boles is holding up SB 727 because it doesn't contain a "sunset" provision that would cause it to expire at a future point. This is an arguably good idea but Sen. Tillman, the bill's sponsor, told us Jamie can easily add a sunset amendment and allow it to continue through the process.
Note: There are two, separate but interlaced questions, here:
1. How much and what kind (frugal or extravagant) of school construction do we actually need?
2. How do we pay for it, regardless what we build?
The second question is the only issue addressed by the sales tax. Most of us have many questions, but here are some of the reasons it's looking like the wise, conservative way to go:
- It's locked-in, by law, for new construction so future Boards of Commissioners (BoE) can't reallocate it
- It's transparent and accountable so we'll know how much there is at any given time
- It will greatly reduce the amount we'll have to borrow, thus avoiding a huge amount of interest debt
- It will avoid a hike in property taxes to fund school construction
- It will give everybody "skin in the game" (rather than just property owners) which will make responsible fiscal decisions of interest to more citizens
- Outsiders who visit Moore Co. will help pay for our school (vs. just property owners)
- It obviates the need for more massive bonds which always dearly cost the taxpayers
MTC favors a tax increase?? No! In fact, many of our members want government out of the school business, but that won't happen anytime soon, will it? In the meantime, Moore Co. will build and will fund it. Funding it wisely or foolishly is the immediate decision we taxpayers must make. If a miracle happened next year and NC handed over all schools to the private sector, we can repeal a .0025% sales tax. If not, it's a idea with merit we need to hash out, but it must get out of committee before it can get on the ballot.