A frank discussion on taxing authority

The image “https://i2.wp.com/blogs.indystar.com/varvelblog/10122007.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The subject of Guilford County Schools having direct taxing authority to fund schools should be enough to drive a nail through your skull.

I’ll explain my painful analogy.

The state school boards association has put this subject as one of its top issues for this year, and it is likely that our legislators in Raleigh will examine the pros and cons this year.

https://i0.wp.com/www.hpgop.com/images/carolinajournal.jpg See this excerpt from a recent Carolina Journal article by Jim Stegall (part of the John Locke Foundation):

In addition to battles over how to spend education money, the General Assembly will also face questions about how to raise it. The School Boards Association will once again argue that school districts should have their own taxing authority. According to association lobbyist Leanne Winner, North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that do not allow school boards to set local district tax rates, relying instead on appropriations from county commissioners. Some school districts would like to change that. The association will also lobby for school districts to become exempt from sales tax (most state and local government offices have sales tax exemptions, as do many quasi-governmental entities) and against any attempt to revive last year’s failed bid to remove North Carolina’s ban on collective bargaining for state employees.

There’s more:

Another commission is now taking a look at all of the funding formulas the state uses to divide up education allocations between school districts. The amount of state education funding a district receives varies according to a wide array of factors. Total numbers of students, geographic size, local tax rates, local economic conditions, and numbers of single-parent families in a district are just some of the factors that influence one or more of the funding formulas. Many legislators believe it’s time to examine each formula to ensure that education funding is being distributed fairly, but any changes are bound to be contentious. The formulas are all products of careful political deal making from sessions past, and each has champions who are likely to resist changes.

Okay, here are the arguments: having direct taxing authority would put North Carolina at par with other states in education funding and would allow the school system to bypass the county commissioners, which as you know, spar with GCS in the annual embarrassing budget battle.

But…giving GCS taxing authority allows GCS (or any other school system) the authority to not only control, but to raise your property taxes. Hence, the cartoon above.

The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/images/kearns1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. There are some on the GCS Board who are vigorously fighting for GCS to have taxing authority. Dot Kearns, who sits on the Board’s Legislative Committee, is practically begging Guilford’s delegation in Raleigh, to take this up. She has made no secret that she wants this.

And I’ll bet you a dollar to a Krispy Kreme donut that if she had her way, she would want to raise your property taxes to the limit so that GCS could have more money.

I cringe.

I cringe because while this may work in other school districts and municipalities in other cities/states, GCS HAS NOT PROVEN ITSELF TO BE FISCALLY PRUDENT WITH THE TAXPAYER’S CHECKBOOK.

And until this occurs, I cannot, and I will not support GCS having direct taxing authority.

The only way this discussion can continue is by doing a couple of things….

1. If Dot Kearns decides to run again, please join my campaign to unseat her. As of today, January 7, she still has not decided nor announced publicly whether she will throw her hat into the ring and run for an unprecedented fourth term. Filing for ballot spots begin February 11.

2. Because this could be an election issue this year, poll the other Board members and see where their thoughts are on GCS having taxing authority.

3. Instead of Ms. Kearns clamoring for Raleigh to grant GCS taxing authority, it brings up the larger discussion of the educational funding formula. This is NOT something you’re hearing from Kearns, nor from the others on the Board. And since this is a legislative issue for our Raleigh lawmakers, I am the only announced/declared candidate who is on the record in challenging our Guilford delegation to address and/or fix the funding formula this year.

4. If GCS decides to one day be more prudent with the taxpayer’s checkbook and become more fiscally conservative, then I could see the argument favoring taxing authority. But as of now, this system continuously wastes money and cannot properly spend the money it is getting now.

And, as I’ve said before, it is hurting our children.

E.C. 🙂


One Response

  1. […] Talk about something that needs to be said 10,000 times, 100,000 times, a million times — hell, it can’t be said enough —– do not give GCS taxing authority. […]

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