Watauga County Commissioners almost got me.

In May, they’ll put a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the ballot.  A similar measure failed eight years ago, but the county’s decided to try again.

Only this time, it’s more complicated.  The ballot will read,

If passed, the quarter-cent sales tax would reduce the four-cent property tax increase the commissioners already have in place to a two-cent increase.

See, last year, the County Commissioners raised property taxes by four cents.  That’s a lot.  In fairness, they still have one of the lowest property taxes in the state, and I commend them for that.  It’s one of many factors that makes Watauga County an attractive place to live and do business.  But still, four cents all in one go is a lot.

So this year, they offer voters the opportunity to reduce the property tax by raising the sales tax.  And I almost got drawn into the debate about which tax is better.

Except, either way, the taxpayers of Watauga County will be paying more than they were in 2016-17.  The debate about property vs. sales is only about how the additional burden is distributed.  Surely it would be better still to avoid that additional burden altogether.