by Michael Lowrey
The Charlotte Observer knocks one out of the park — yes, really — questioning the push to increase sales taxes here in Mecklenburg County.
It started when commissioners Chairman Trevor Fuller, Vice Chairman Dumont Clarke and three other Democrats on the Mecklenburg board of commissioners concocted their plan to put the quarter-cent sales tax on the ballot, largely intended for teacher raises, with little input from other stakeholders. The other commissioners learned about the initiative days before the June vote. Organizers had minimal communication with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the city of Charlotte, the business community, the legislature and the public, even though each group is directly affected by the move. That’s probably not the best way to win crucial early support.
All of this seems to be a bit premature in any case. How can the public judge the validity of having local government pick up a state responsibility before it even knows what the state itself will do? Let’s have legislators approve a teacher-pay plan first, then decide whether it’s wise for Mecklenburg shoppers to augment that pay.