by Sam Hieb
In yesterday’s primary, Forsyth County voters overwhelmingly approved a quarter-cent sales tax hike that will boost supplemental pay for teachers in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system. The margin was 59 percent in favor compared to 40 percent opposed. The sales tax rate in Forsyth will now be 7 percent.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal:
County officials have estimated that the sales tax increase would bring in about $13 million for teacher supplemental pay the first year, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 for each teacher a year.
In 2018-2019, the average teacher supplement was $4,251 in Forsyth County, compared with $4,751 in Guilford County, $7,005 in Durham County, $8,101 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County and $8,720 in Wake County, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction Profile. The state average that school year was $4,580.
Items that will be exempt from the tax include groceries or unprepared foods, gasoline, motor vehicle and home sales, rent and prescription medication.
Voters rejected a sales tax hike in 2018, but Forsyth County Commissioner Don Martin–who is a former WSFCS superintendent—attributed the success of this sales tax hike to “so many people volunteered throughout the day Tuesday to get the word out,” as the Journal reports.