by Sam Hieb
So says someone advocating for Mecklenburg County’s proposed quarter-cent sales tax hike on Tuesday’s ballot:
“It just takes a lot of money to educate and to get our message out,” said Darrel Williams, who chairs the Partnership For A Better Mecklenburg. “As you know, tax increases are not easy. It takes money.”
No kidding.Charlotte Oberserver reports Willams’ groups had spent $592,000 through Oct. 21, while the Mecklenburg Tax Alliance, which opposes the tax increase, raised just $1,450– and most of that was from one donor– former Republican county commissioner Mathew Ridenhour.
Donors on the pro-tax hike side include $500,000 from the Thrive fund, started in 2013 by (surprise) former Bank of America Chairman Hugh McColl Jr. and $50,000 from (surprise) the Carolina Panthers.
Revenue from the sales tax hike –if it passes–ostensibly would go toward arts, parks, and education. I’ll say this much—the lack of funding for the Mecklenburg Tax Alliance might indicate they are confident their message is out there—voters are wise to sales-tax hikes, even in a city like Charlotte. But never assume.