Charlotte Observer reports:

Mecklenburg County voters on Tuesday rejected a sales tax increase for the second time in five years, despite a million-dollar campaign and support from prominent community leaders.

With all but one precinct reported, more than 57% opposed the quarter-cent tax increase, which would have raised $50 million a year for the arts, parks and education.

….Political scientist Eric Heberlig of UNC Charlotte said despite the addition of parks and schools, many voters saw the measure as a referendum on arts funding.

“Arts funding is a priority of city elites, not the average voter,” he said. “The major issue in Charlotte the past few years has been affordable housing, so for many voters, there probably was a disconnect that the (tax) was not going to fund that priority.”