New high school means tax hike for Davidson Co.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — County Commissioner Fred McClure said that a county tax increase was the only option to help fund a new high school to help alleviate overcrowding.

McClure said approximately 13 teachers at Ledford High School do not have classrooms and use carts to transfer their supplies to different rooms during another teachers planning period.

On May 6, people will decide between a property tax increase or a 25 cent sale tax increase.

“With the quarter cent sales tax food and medicines are exempt so the impact on the poor and the elderly as well with the farmers with a lot of land is less,” McClure said. “And we get to use the tourist dollars from the barbecue festival and the barbecue cook off and all the other tourist events that we might have coming in for Richard Childress.”

The new high school would help to ease crowded classroom in the northern county between Ledford High and North Davidson High School. The new location would be close to Oak Grove Middle School.

“If the people say go ahead with the quarter cent then that’s what we’ll do,” McClure said. “We’’ll vote as commissioners to do that and we’ll bank the first two years of the sales tax and use it for when all of the bids are let and construction actually begins to put down and reduce the amount we have to finance. “

Mother Brenee Harp said although she is not a fan of higher taxes the hike would be beneficial to her son and his peers at Ledford High School.

“I think that would be a good thing to be taxed for. That would be a wonderful improvement,” Harp said.

A Davidson County Schools representative told us the enrollment and capacity numbers for Ledford and North Davidson High School were not available Thursday.

26 comments

  • JWS

    I thought they ran on no new taxes to get elected? That is all you have heard for years, it’s for the kids. Hogwash. Stop using the kids as an excuse to raise our taxes. Don’t you plan on new schools in your current budgets. If you need more schools due to crowding then that means you should have more people paying county taxes.

  • Darrell Parks

    ALL the schools in Davidson County are overcrowded and using trailers. South Davidson doesn’t even have separate high schools and middle schools, they are in the same building. A sales tax means Northern Davidson residents who do most of their shopping and leave their sales tax in Forsyth County will be getting a school paid for by the rest of the county.

    • NDC

      http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20140410/OPINION02/304109996/1013/opinion?Title=North-Davidson-offers-much To say that North Davidson County doesn’t pay any sales tax in Davidson County is ignorant. Maybe North Davidson County should just request that all of the money from the taxes of their higher property values be kept in North Davidson County. But then there would be no schools in South Davidson County. Take a look at some of the nice new elementary schools. Who do you think paid for it? Yeah that’s right, the property taxes generated from the northern part of the county. It’s sad to know that people are so selfish and do not understand the concept of a community. And just so you know the tax increase is to help all three school systems in Davidson County not just one school. To say so is equally dumb and shows your complete lack of knowledge on this subject. I think next time I get my paycheck I am going to demand any money that doesn’t benefit just me back. According to all of y’all’s thinking we shouldn’t be paying social security taxes and business shouldn’t pay unemployment taxes. Dumb dumb dumb.

      • that'sright

        Not according to my thinking… lol I agree with what you said, and I live in southern Davidson County. :)

  • Overtaxed property owner and purchaser in DC

    Whatever happened to the “education” lottery funds? I know a lot of residents in davidson county that contribute to that hoax. Oh yeah, fun fact. The article mentioned “If the people say go ahead with the quarter cent then that’s what we’ll do,” McClure said. “We’’ll vote as commissioners to do that and we’ll bank the first two years of the sales tax and use it for when all of the bids are let and construction actually begins to put down and reduce the amount we have to finance.“ My question is why did they start grading the land last September for construction to start in late 2014 early 2015? Just curious.

    • NobodyAtAll

      When the lottery first came about, it was shot down by the population as gambling…Adding the word “education” was just a ploy, pulling the wool over the populations eyes…And it worked very well…In the meantime, fat cats around the state are getting fatter and many school houses still have a set of axles under them…

    • Alan B

      Land being graded is for Middle School ball field complex . . .High School to be built on north side of Midway School Rd . . .get your facts correct . . .

      • Overtaxed property owner and purchaser in DC

        http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20131007/News/310079981

        According to this article I got my facts straight sir. Its not just for an athletic complex as the article states it is also for the school cronstruction and parking as well. Do not get me wrong we need it because my kids attend school at Ledford Middle and Ledford Senior High School and it is seriously overcrowed and has been for a while. My issue however is with the commisioners and their lies. It is pathetic that we have to have an increase in either property taxes or sales taxes becasue there are supposed to be funds provided by the “education” lottery.

  • ECB

    I have 3 kids that are affected by this new school being built and it is desperately needed. Ledford High School and North Davidson High School are overcrowded as are many schools in Davidson county. I completely understand those who do not want their taxes raised but this is one tax that I will fully and 100% support. Many students at Ledford are having class in the cafeteria or have a teacher that teaches in different classrooms throughout the day becuase there are not enough classrooms for each teacher to have their own. I also worry about the safety of children in these overcrowded schools – it is not just about a tax – support our school system and our children!

    • JWS

      Any property owner already pays extra for school tax even if they have no kids. Yes the kids need good schools but the problem is they lie about the tax increases using the kids as an excuse to collect more money that does not go to the school. Also after the school is paid for do you think they will repeal the tax? Never happens, they collect it and wait for the next school needed to be built and then raise taxes again saying it’s for the children. How many times can you be fooled?

  • richard lewis

    i’m 76 widowed no kids why should i have to pay any more taxes for schools nc lottery has more money than me i can still vote so can a lot of seniors

    • NDC

      According to your logic why should I have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. I’m a 27 yr old single parent. I could really use that money. And by the way, sales tax increase isn’t applicable to groceries, gas, and prescriptions. So how much does a 1/4 cent sales tax hike actually affect you? And we wonder why our youth only think of themselves, I guess they have learned from example.

  • JFC

    Educating future generations is a service to all citizens – providing appropriate and safe structures for them to learn in is the responsibility of all citizens.

    • that'sright

      These are my thoughts, too… everyone benefits from an educated citizenry, including the elderly, those with no children, etc. Everyone pays for something they don’t personally need right now. 24 year old single guys get a ton of taxes taken from their income, to pay for Medicare, Social Security, etc. They may never need those services, but somebody needs them, and they need to be funded.

  • mygoodnessgetitright

    The article talks about a “25 cent sale tax increase”. The in mentions a “quarter cent” increase. That little decimal point is all-important, fox8 writers…. it’s a 0.25 cent tax increase. A quarter-cent. My goodness, it’s like third graders write these stories.

    • mygoodnessgetitright

      lol I don’t miss the irony that I made 2 typos in this post. ;) lol But if I were writing a story for a newspaper, I would be proof-reading like crazy, and would learn the correct way to write numbers…. there’s a big difference between a 25 cent tax increase, and a 0.25 cent increase…

  • JFC

    I do believe that the enrollment information that the reporter says was not available from the school system is actually available on the Davidson County schools website – Enrollment at Ledford High School as of September 2013 was 1238 and enrollment at North Davidson High School was 1528.

    • that'sright

      Thank you… another example of fox8 reporters failing to do their homework, and offering up shoddy, half-baked stories.

  • Jason Varner

    No new taxes need be levied against the taxpayers in order to build a new school. The County Commissioners are sitting on $42,678,178 in available funds. Furthermore, those funds increase by 1.3 million a year on average. Please notice that amount alone is more than half of the projected revenue from the proposed sales tax.

    The truth of the matter is our county is looking to build a new sheriffs department, industrial park, improve the 911 communication center, and build a new school all at the same time. In order to do them all without consideration to prioritizing any three over the fourth. However, the interestingly enough even if all four projects are constructed simultaneously the County’s debt will only increase $20,000,000 due to old debts maturing. If such is the case, and it happens to be just that, would it not be more prudent to simply spend $20,000,000 of the $42,678,178 in available funds and keep all taxes flat?

    Another interesting point is 10 counties who approved the sales tax sale property tax increases afterwards. 10! So not only will we get a sales tax increase but there is a good chance our property tax will still increase regardless. To further concrete the possibility of such happing please refer to the minutes of the resolution meeting. The wording of the original resolution read, “will prevent a property increase.” That wording was changed so that it now reads, “will help to prevent.” That is a big difference.

    Want more? When was the last study conducted that outlines the need for a new school? 2000. Since then enrollment has dropped. When was the last study conducted that says Ledford is unable to expand on their current location? Oh, there wasn’t one. The only reason giving for not doing so is that the boosters might get upset for having to relocate ball fields. Interesting huh?

    How sustainable is a sales tax anyway? A sales tax is directly related to the volatile market that changes from day to day. what happens if sales should experience another shortcoming and the revenue generated is only $1,000,000 instead of the $2,400,000? How will we service the projected debt?

    Anyone willing to subsidize their pernicious political agenda by having our children act as mail carriers for their propaganda should not be easily trusted. Nor should any committee whose members have so much pool that they, unlike the average citizen, obtain access to the county printing office.

    I am not against building a school if one is needed. I am a huge advocate for our children and will do whatever I can to ensure they receive a great education; however, we should not cause our neighbors to slide into poverty in an effort to do so. Challenges such as this demand new ideas, fresh minds, and hands not bond by years of backroom political deals. Lets do what is best for our people. Let’s start by voting AGAINST this tax.

    • NDC

      Ledford hasn’t had a drop in enrollment. Why make that up. According to Davidson county schools there are more in attendance than last year. The same goes for the Ledford districts 3 elementary schools that have a combined 1900 kids. That’s insane. If you expand the school to accommodate its insane overcrowding now, what about the future growth. The band aids they’ve been putting on the schools in this part of the county are no longer working. And it’s gonna get worse. The city of high point is blowing up this part of Davidson county. Apartment complexes are going up left and right. And the subdivisions arent slowing down all across the northern part. You are out of your mind if you think enrollment is going to decrease. I live in this area. I absolutely hate what high point is doing because it is ruining this part of the county. You need to get your info straight because the growth is happening. They need to build that high school. It should have been built first. They are going to need a new elementary school after that. Maybe Davidson county should just sue guilford county and the city of high point and make them pay. Lol. Nobody wants to pay for it, not the politicians who claim education as a priority nor people like you. Meanwhile my kid will be going to an unsafe overcrowded school and y’all will still be pointing fingers over who should be paying.

  • NDC

    Ledford hasn’t had a drop in enrollment. Why make that up. According to Davidson county schools there are more in attendance than last year. The same goes for the Ledford districts 3 elementary schools that have a combined 1900 kids. That’s insane. If you expand the school to accommodate its insane overcrowding now, what about the future growth. The band aids they’ve been putting on the schools in this part of the county are no longer working. And it’s gonna get worse. The city of high point is blowing up this part of Davidson county. Apartment complexes are going up left and right. And the subdivisions arent slowing down all across the northern part. You are out of your mind if you think enrollment is going to decrease. I live in this area. I absolutely hate what high point is doing because it is ruining this part of the county. You need to get your info straight because the growth is happening. They need to build that high school. It should have been built first. They are going to need a new elementary school after that. Maybe Davidson county should just sue guilford county and the city of high point and make them pay. Lol. Nobody wants to pay for it, not the politicians who claim education as a priority nor people like you. Meanwhile my kid will be going to an unsafe overcrowded school and y’all will still be pointing fingers over who should be paying.

  • Jason Varner

    My comment concerning enrollment decreases (approx. 1000) was in relation to the entire County School system. I am not out of my mind. I am simply using it to consider the facts and form an objective decision based thereof vs one created from emotion.

    Second, I have toured both Ledford and North Davidson. In my humble opinion, North could stand to have a second cafeteria constructed and/or the current one expanded upon. North also utilizes a small number of trailer’s and pods. These could be removed and brick and mortar locations added in their stead. North also has some acreage left to expand upon for any future needs. Ledford is in need of more classrooms. I found it very disheartening to see that their library was having to be utilized as a storage room, classroom, and distance learning area. This left little room for books. Expanding Ledford upon their current site would address the current need for more, “core classes” as well as help alleviate any future overcrowding issues. Ledford has a substantial amount of land to construct new additions upon. These lands are currently being utilized as sports facilities. Relocating the extra circular fields might upset boosters, but if our children’s education is most important then doing so is in their best interest. Do not mistake my being fiscally responsible as being unconcerned or lacking compassion.

    High Point does play a major role in our overcrowding issue. In fact, Guilford Co. has lost over 126,000,000 is IRA tax revenue to Davidson Co. This is mostly due to our love nominal tax rate of 54 cent per $100. However, they do not necessarily spend their money here once they move here. Davidson Co. leakage/surplus index is .85 which represents over $215,000,000 in lost sales revenue to surrounding counties each year. Neither, Forsyth Co. and Guliford Co. has the additional sales tax. Does it not stand to reason that by adopting the additional tax Davidson Co. would potentially suffer even heavier losses? Since the mass influx of migrations is a direct result of a “low” property tax rate, would it not be more beneficial to have a modest increase in an effort to decrease these migrations and to generate more revenue to improve the infrastructures of our school systems?

    Furthermore, the notion that passing the sales tax will somehow, “keep our property taxes low,” is a complete fallacy. Just ask Alexander, Cabarrus, Duplin, Greene, Haywood, New Hanover, Pitt, Randolph, Rowan, and Wilkes counties who have all experienced property tax increases FOLLOWING their adoption of the ¼ cent sales tax. In addition, tour current effective tax rate is 56.7 cents per $100. Joe Silverman predicts a flat return on revaluations meaning the effective rate will plummet to the nominal rate of 54 cents per $100. Where will the county recover this lost revenue from? Ah, yes…property tax increases. Can you afford both?

    Lastly, education is obviously not a top priority for our Commissioners as they have verbally committed monies to building a new Sheriff’s Department, Industrial Complex, and Communication Upgrades. How much have been committed to this new school? $0. They would want you to vote to secure them a new source of revenue. But why not guarantee our children the money for their education first and ask for the new tax to build the industrial complex? Ah, because a new tax for an industrial complex is a much harder sale than a new tax for our Children. I suppose this is why they used 19,000,000 of our children as carriers to subsidize their political propaganda vs buying postage and mailing it the honest way. I am sure it also helped them secure usage of the counties printing office…I have a child…can I use it? Hmm….

    Just some thoughts…

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