CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This fall, voters will have to make a decision: will they approve an increase in the Mecklenburg County's sales tax to give Mecklenburg County teachers a raise? Commissioners put the issue on the ballot for November, although there's a movement afoot to take it off.
Back in June, the Mecklenburg County Commission voted to put a referendum on the ballot, one that would put a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the ballot in November. Eighty-percent of the money would pay for raises for teachers.
City council isn't crazy about the idea, according to The Charlotte Observer, since they're also asking for money from voters this fall. The county manager, isn't crazy about it either.
"It's really my belief that the county should not get into that business," Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said in May, "Because once you're in it, you're in it forever and that will potentially threaten the long term sustainability of the county."
Commission chair Trevor Fuller feels differently.
"This is not a gimmick," he told NBC Charlotte in June. "This is a sustainable source of revenue."
MeckED, an independent education advocacy group, says it'll support the sales tax issue. The Charlotte Chamber, which has supported similar ideas in the past, won't campaign for this one.
Some people are calling for the commission to rethink the idea. Problem is, commissioners don't have another meeting until September, and they'd have to call a special one to overturn June's vote. Since the County Board of Elections has said the commission can't change the ballot after Friday, that's probably not going to happen.
Fuller has said he wants a chance to get the sales tax hike to the voters before state lawmakers vote to cap local sales taxes. Something they tried and failed to do this year.
So, it sounds like for now, it'll be up to you to decide whether paying more, to pay teachers more, is worth it.