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Board Signs Resolution Supporting Sales Tax Funding

May 21, 2024 – Continuing Strategic Direction efforts to advocate for competitive living wages for all staff, the Board of Education signed a resolution Tuesday supporting potential efforts by the Board of County Commissioners to add to the November 2024 ballot a referendum to authorize the levy of an additional sales and use tax in the amount of .25 percent, or a fraction of a penny, consistent with the requirements of N.C.G.S. §105-37.

The resolution states in part, “The Boards believe that our Educators and Frontline Workers (collectively “Educators”) are essential for improving the lives of our students and deserve to be compensated commensurate with similar complex urban systems in North Carolina . . .

Currently, Guilford County’s educators are paid less than educators in other complex urban districts in North Carolina and have fallen further behind in recent years, and in order to fund the educator compensation the Boards believe our Educators deserve without supplanting funds directed toward other needs, additional sources of revenue are required.”

Guilford County’s current sales tax rate is 6.75 percent, lower than neighboring Randolph and Forsyth counties at 7 percent or Wake and Mecklenburg counties at 7.25 percent. If approved by voters, the county’s sales and use tax would be 7 percent.

The resulting revenue could amount to $25 million, which would be used to increase the compensation of educators and frontline workers. The resolution states in part, “The Guilford County Board of Education understands that the Commissioners will commit to use the additional revenues generated solely for the increase of compensation of Educators and will not supplant funds provided for other purposes.”

“Our community has shown us repeatedly that it supports providing fair compensation to hardworking public school employees,” said Superintendent Whitney Oakley. “A referendum like this, which clearly states how the money would be used, will allow voters to put that support into practice.”