At tonight’s meeting, the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners will debate putting a quarter-cent sales tax hike on the November ballot. The projected $1.5 million in extra revenue would go toward closing a $1 million budget shortfall due to debt service toward school construction:

“We know right now due to paying for the debt of already built schools, we face a $1 million shortfall in the next fiscal year,” board Chairman Zane Cardwell said.

A sales-tax increase would generate $1.5 million in additional revenue.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners made this same move last month in an attempt to generate an additional $14 million annually for education.

State law doesn’t allow the ballot question to list where the money goes. It can only describe a sales-tax increase.

Tha last point cannot be emphasized enough, so just for good measure I’ll refer to CJ’s Michael Lowrey:

Such statements of intent aren’t binding, though. Money is fungible, and counties can move money around as they please. Thus, what Mecklenburg and Guilford counties would like to do is tax more to spend more. And that remains a questionable goal, regardless of the state of the economy.

Something to think about when heading to the polls come November.