Hats off to the conservative Republicans on the Wake County commission who voted to protect Wake taxpayers from the usual tax-and-spend intent of the liberal Democrats on the board. The vote was 4 to 2, rejecting the idea of a November ballot referendum to hike the sales tax.

Democratic commissioners had pushed for the referendum, noting how Guilford and Mecklenburg counties are holding referendums this fall to raise sales taxes to provide more funding for teacher salaries.

“Why on earth would a new graduate in education not go to a place where they can make $3,000 more?” Sullivan said. “What’s the incentive to come here to Wake?”

But Republican commissioners questioned raising sales taxes on the heels of a 4.4-cent property tax rate increase this year to repay last fall’s school construction bond referendum.

“The point is not to be the highest county in the state in taxation,” Coble said. “The point is to be competitive, and that’s the reason we’re seeing people come here and move into this area, and businesses come here – because they don’t feel like they’re going to be taxed unfairly.”

Exactly. Wake taxpayers are already paying more in property taxes, thanks to a 4.4 cent hike to pay for schools.