And did so by a wide margin — 61 percent against and only 39 percent in favor. That perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise, as this was an absolute train wreck of a tax increase proposal: the idea was floated very late, without the five county commissioners in favor having reached out to the community at large to build support for the measure before voting to put the proposed tax hike before voters. Unsurprisingly, there was a great deal of uncertainty as to exactly what the extra money that would have been generated would have been used for. To make matters worse, arguing for a local sales tax increase largely for education, which is primarily a state responsibility, before the General Assembly passes its budget doesn’t exactly demonstrate that this was a serious proposal.

To take that a step further, I’d even say that the proposal was little more than state-level partisan politics, with most of the Democrats on county commission voting for the sales tax hike in large part because it reinforced the message that Democrats were running on statewide: the Republican GOP wasn’t providing enough education funding. That message wasn’t effective statewide and didn’t go down any better in Mecklenburg County, where voters rightly recognized it as the bad idea as that it was.

Bonus thought: Sales taxes are regressive and an easy way for pols to escape responsibility for the cost of local government. And Charlotte has the highest combined cost of local government (city plus county) for municipalities of population of 25,000+ in the state.