by Sam Hieb
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to put a referendum for a 1/4-cent sales tax hike on the November ballot. Funding from the sales tax hike–should voters approve it—would go toward paying the debt service on the new $120 million courthouse facilities in Forsyth County.
“I can’t say I’m going to vote for it because I don’t like increases in the sales tax because it is a regressive tax,” Commissioner Everette Witherspoon said, referring to his likely personal choice on Election Day.
But he said he could support holding a referendum on the proposal.
“I’m not against giving Forsyth County citizens the option,” Witherspoon said. “If they want to go on the ballot and vote for an increase in the sales tax, I’m all for it.”
…After the meeting, Commissioner Don Martin said he thought Witherspoon made a good point.
“We have made a decision to give the citizens an opportunity to make a choice,” Martin said, adding, “It’s a chance to decide which way you want to pay, because the courthouse is going to get done.”
That choice is a sales-tax increase or a property-tax increase, he said.
With that in mind, it is most interesting that at the same meeting commissioners approved $412,243 in economic incentives for Grass America Inc.