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Davidson voters approve sales tax hike for new school

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Voters in Davidson County said yes to higher taxes on Tuesday, approving a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax to pay for a new high school in northern Davidson County.

According to complete but unofficial returns, 56.6 percent of the voters who cast ballots approved the tax increase, with 43.4 percent opposed.
In numbers, that’s 8,851 votes in favor and 6,798 votes opposed, among nearly 16,000 ballots cast. Turnout in Davidson County was 15.4 percent.

The tax increase will go into effect Sept. 1, and will mean customers will pay 7 percent sales tax rather than 6.75 percent on purchases.

“It is good news not just for the folks of northern Davidson County but for the whole county,” said Burr Sullivan, a supporter of the tax hike. Sullivan is president and chief executive of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce.

“When you support something like this you never know how it is going to come out,” Sullivan said. “It is a good move that will benefit the children of Davidson County for a long, long time.”

The tax is intended to raise about $2.3 million annually and allow the county to finance the construction of the new high school.

The new school, to be built in the northern part of the county, would relieve overcrowding at North Davidson and Ledford high schools.

The vote came after a well-financed campaign by the group Davidson County Strong for Education, which supported the sales tax increase as the best way to pay for the new school.

Advocates said that school needs in other parts of the county could be met from the money that would be freed up by the dedicated tax revenue. The county has three school systems – a county system and school systems in Lexington and Thomasville. The new school would be in the county system.

Opponents had said that the tax would put Davidson County merchants at a competitive disadvantage with other counties that have a lower sales-tax rate.


    • Triple Aught

      That is a question for Mike Easley, but I think he is out at the time.
      And, since Power Ball /Mega Millions are both registered trademarks…
      Some where is those two lines, a, “SPLAINATION” , might be rendered.

  • Steve

    Most of the schools in the county were build with bond referendums…not sales tax increases. Get your facts straight before you run your mouth!

    • Seriously?

      They were built and are maintained by property taxes. Get YOUR facts straight. Who do you think pays the most money in property taxes? The north part of the county. The property value is so much higher there. The north part of the county paid for all those nice new elementary schools that were built in the south part of the county.

  • Al Bunde

    Four high schools within 15 miles of each other. West Davidson to North approx 15 miles. Ledford to East 15 miles. Ledford to north 16 miles. No way to redraw lines to reduce students.

  • Tiger mom

    I think that a new school is great, but if I go try to enroll my children in this state of the art school I will help pay for, they will send me away because I don’t live in the district. It is like paying for a house I will never live in or for a car I will never drive! My kids’ schools could use some renovations, but I don’t see that happening! Why not make the district in question fund the new school instead of the whole county? Maybe that should have been addressed.

    • Seriously?

      The district in question pays for all the other schools in the county. If that district kept all of their money they paid in property taxes in their community, the other schools couldn’t afford to open their doors. And if you know so much, you would know that any student in DCS can transfer to any other school within the DCS system at any grade level as long as it’s not over crowded. It’s called a community, be a part of it.

  • BOZ

    Tiger Mom, it’s called taxes. Your taxes helped pay for several things in this state that you’ve never used. Have you driven on the Blue Ridge Parkway or NC-12 on the Outer Banks? These roads were, in part, paid by taxes. I dind’t go to Ragsdale, but taxes I paid helped expand the school. Also, you are referring to private school. If you expect the school system to transport your child to this new school that is out of disctrict for you, then you are mistaken. Buses and the gas on which they run still cost money.

    Is anybody actually reading these bond referendums for themselves, or are they just making decisions based off of what they see and hear on TV? I thought we established a long time ago that people lie and the media’s goal is to sell advertisement space. If you’re literate enough to post comments to a story you didn’t fully read, then you’re literate enough to fully read and ask questions about tax proposals and bond referendums.

  • M2

    From my understanding, the money would have come from this 1/4 cent sales tax or Davidson County would raise it through a property tax hike. I don’t mind paying a 1/4 cent more on things I choose to buy (look at the Fair Tax proposals) versus the county forcing a tax on my property. It’s hard enough to afford a mortgage these days, add a prop tax hike and it gets even worse. Now, the county needs to look at this and keep their hands off the property tax referendums.
    Look, right now, on a $1 purchase, you’re paying 7 cents tax (because you can’t have 6 3/4 cents). You’re still paying 7% anyway. On a $100 purchase, you pay $6.75. Now, you’d pay an extra $.25, which over a $100 purchase amounts to nothing. I’d rather choose to pay the tax through my own purchases than the county force it.

    • Tiger mom

      @M2….I would like to thank you for giving an adult response to my concern. Being forced to do something you necessarily do not want to do stings, especially when you won’t be able to enjoy what you are helping pay for. I accept the tax increase and will do what I have to do. It is easier to deal with someone who speaks clearly and states facts instead of bullying and making others feel inferior. I applaud you and thanks again for your informative response.

  • JWS

    Anyone who votes more taxes on themselves for any reason in a state that has the highest tax rates and gas tax in the south is very easily fooled into voting for anything. Perhaps if the good ole boy network was broken up there would be plenty of money to build schools. Remember the “EDUCATION LOTTERY” You were told “It’s for the kids”. Well, how many times do you need to be lied to before you catch on that the kids deal is an excuse to collect money for other things. Do you think the tax will be taken away after the school is paid for? No, it will be another project “For the kids”

  • bobsbob

    Don’t forget… There’s $42 million in the Davidson County fund. Could have easily paid for half the school and a bond for the rest.

  • bobsbob

    They are going to raise property taxes anyway. So then you will be paying extra on 2 taxes rather than one had y’all voted against the sales tax.

  • Venus

    Search to find out which county has the lowest sales tax and shop there, little of any money given to the schools ever reach the classrooms or the children. Just another rip off

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