North Carolinians Approve $2.8 Billion in New Local Debt | Eastern North Carolina Now | But All Five Local Sales Tax Proposals Were Defeated

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Brian Balfour.

    There were 26 local bond referenda across the state in this fall's election, totaling $2.8 billion. The success rate? 100%

    All 26 were approved easily, with the lowest approval rates in the mid-50s and several approval rates in the mid- to upper-70s. The stated purposes of the bonds were varied, but most dealt with either school construction and repair, affordable housing, road construction, or parks and recreation facilities.

    The Town of Wake Forest had the most bonds on the ballot, with four, totaling about $76 million.

    Wake County, unsurprisingly, tallied the highest dollar amount of bonds with $884 million: a $530 million bond for school construction and $353 million for Wake Tech Community College.

    City of Raleigh residents approved another $275 million for parks and recreation facilities.

    Wake County residents have seen their property taxes increased in 5 of the last 7 years, and they just voted themselves another one yesterday.

    Conversely, there were five counties with local sales tax increases on the ballot. The success rate of those? Zero percent.

    All five were defeated handily, by margins similar to the approval rates of the bonds.

    The disconnect is somewhat striking. Voters strongly supported more local debt, but equally as strongly opposed tax increases. Granted, local bond debt is typically financed through property tax hikes, and it is local sales tax increases that were rejected.

    However, the willing acceptance of increasing local debt while soundly rejecting local tax increases merits further examination.

    For many years I've been positing that there is a lack of public finance knowledge among voters:

    The fact that bonds are approved by voters so routinely while local tax increases continue to be defeated by wide margins provides more evidence to a theory of mine: many voters simply are not aware of what it means when they approve a bond. I believe many of them do not understand that they are authorizing an increase of their local government's debt. A debt that will have to be repaid - with interest - using their tax dollars.
Go Back


Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )




Cooper: Biden has been a fantastic President John Locke Foundation Guest Editorial, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics The U.S. Naval Academy is Adrift


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

The Department of Justice wants Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, 38, who made billions of dollars before she was ultimately convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy, to spend 15 years in prison rather than walk free.
In a stunning announcement, Disney has revealed "The Chosen" will be incorporated into the Marvel Multiverse following a cameo appearance by Deadpool in the show's upcoming third season.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre lost her cool against a conservative reporter after she pressed Dr. Anthony Fauci on his approach to COVID.
Alec Baldwin has filed a lawsuit against some former crew members of the movie “Rust,” where a shooting incident resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last year.
Elon Musk is the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, as well as the leader of several smaller pet projects, such as Neuralink and The Boring Company. Following his acquisition of Twitter, one of the world’s largest social media platforms, the multibillionaire gave the world a view into just how bus
As part of a new pledge to "quiet down" the company's aggressive push for progressive themes in its content, returning Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed the entertainment giant will cut back to including only seven LGTB characters in each children's movie.
The case of defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX and now-broke multibillionaire founder Sam Bankman-Fried is among the most intriguing stories of alleged financial crime in decades, rivaling the heists executed by financier Bernie Madoff and startup darling Elizabeth Holmes.
Third-quarter finance reports dropped Tuesday, November 2nd, and with them came insight into one of North Carolina’s biggest questions for election day, will Republicans regain supermajorities in the state legislature?
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” defended Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) against attacks he has faced from media and a Democrat politician who criticized DeSantis on the show’s most recent broadcast.

HbAD1

Amid a storm of controversy over recent antisemitic comments and remarks praising Hitler, Ye West has announced the release of his brand-new album My Struggle.
A number of entertainment conglomerates and media companies are announcing layoffs as the macroeconomy continues to impact several industries.
The White House geared up for the Thanksgiving holiday by sharing a list of talking points for people to reference if the happened to find themselves talking to “that uncle” during a family gathering.
Country music legend Dolly Parton has received a $100 million award from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Over the past few weeks, Ben Shapiro has created video responses to Kanye "Ye" West's anti-semitic statements, causing West to direct tweets at the conservative commentator.
A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to over 17 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for his involvement in a plot to bomb a Pittsburgh church.
Netflix is planning to try out live programming in early 2023 with a new stand-up comedy special from comedian Chris Rock.

HbAD2

 
Back to Top