Publisher's note: The author of this post is Rick Henderson, who AUTHOR ROLE for the Carolina Journal, John Hood Publisher.
All local bond measures pass; Bladen and Sampson reject liquor measures
RALEIGH Along with Tuesday's primary elections for congressional, legislative, judicial, county, and municipal offices, voters in more than a dozen North Carolina counties decided measures involving taxes, debt, and alcohol sales.
Three of the four referendums increasing local sales taxes by 0.25 percent failed. Voters in Bertie rejected their proposal by a margin of 31 percent to 69 percent; in Bladen County, the 'no' vote was 72 percent to 28 percent; Brunswick County's proposal failed, 40-60. Only Davidson County's measure passed, by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent.
Meantime, by a 78 percent to 22 percent margin, Gaddy Township voters in Robeson County approved a 10-cent increase in the local property tax rate to finance a separate fire district with a volunteer fire department.
Local bond measures fared better. Bald Head Island residents passed a beach improvement bonds referendum by a whopping 90-10 margin. Davie County enacted a school bond measure, 54 percent to 46 percent, and a parks-and-recreation bond, 56-44. Mooresville voters approved a street-and-sidewalk bonds proposal, 63-37, and a parks-and-rec measure, 55-45. Goldsboro residents approved a parks-and-rec measure by a similar 55-45 margin.
A handful of counties considered expanding alcoholic beverage sales. Residents of the Cleveland County town of Patterson backed the sale of malt beverages and fortified wine. Pender County voters approved a measure expanding the sale of beer by the glass in Topsail Beach. Rockingham County voters authorized the sale of mixed drinks in restaurants and approved a county ABC store. In contrast, Bladen and Sampson county voters rejected measures allowing the sale of beer and wine in unincorporated sections of the county and in towns that had not approved alcohol sales.
Carteret and Northampton county voters expanded the sale of mixed beverages. Carteret hotels, restaurants, and convention facilities countywide will be able to offer mixed beverages (currently, only restaurants in some beachfront towns can sell cocktails). Establishments throughout Northampton County also will be allowed to sell mixed beverages; currently, only licensed facilities located within one mile of Interstate 95 can do so.
: This story was corrected after publication to reflect results of the Bladen County alcoholic beverage measures.