What IS this Sales Tax Referendum?

When you go to the polls on June 7th, you will find three items on the Democratic Ballot.  One of these is a referendum to increase the sales tax in Jackson County from 6.75% to 7.00%.  The referendum reads:

County Sales and Use Tax

Local sales and use tax at the rate of

one-quarter percent (0.25%) in

addition to all other State and local

sales and use taxes.

o                For

  o          Against

If you do not know why this increase is being requested, your natural instinct would be to vote against it.  Who needs more taxes, right?

There are very good reasons for you to vote “For” this referendum!

This sales tax is dedicated solely to public schools in Jackson County.

  • This includes K-12 and Southwestern Community College.
  • The county, not the state, is responsible for all facilities and maintenance on county schools.
  • Current budgets have not kept up with urgent building needs:
    • Classrooms are shuttered due to leaking roofs.
    • Rusty water pipes leak and provide colorful water.
    • Paying students are being turned away at SCC due to lack of space, particularly in the Health & Sciences studies, which provide much needed medical technicians to the area.

It is a “dedicated sales tax” which cannot be diverted to any other counties or to any other uses.

  • All sales taxes collected in Jackson County go to the state for reallocation.  Lately, Jackson County has not been receiving all of the sales taxes it collects.  However, this “dedicated sales tax”, by law,  must be returned to Jackson County and must be used for public schools.

It will provide $1.2 million a year for our public schools.

  • This is more than would come from an increase in property taxes.
  • It capitalizes on spending by visitors to Jackson County.
  • It provides a funding stream that does not put us in debt.

Why is this on the June ballot?

  • The need is urgent.  If approved, funding will begin flowing to our schools on January 1, 2017.
  • Otherwise, we lose up to $600,000 and the roofs keep leaking.

How will this affect YOU?

  • Most of your purchases are already rounded up to 7% on the dollar.  With this referendum, that money comes back to Jackson County instead of staying in Raleigh.
  • If you spend $100, the additional tax is 25 cents.
  • The tax does not apply to gas or groceries.

As Jenifer Montsinger wrote in a letter to the editor,

“The bottom line is that you are being asked to make a very small investment in the educational future of our children.  Join us on June 7th in supporting the Referendum you find on your ballot.

Vote “FOR” the Sales Tax Referendum on June 7th!