County Tax Referenda Will Reveal Voter Reponse To Growth

Voters going to the polls on Tuesday will have something more significant to consider in an odd-numbered election year.

The results will tell elected leaders if and how voters want to pay for being a state that has grown by more than 800,000 residents since 2000 to nearly 9 million.

It could be the most important off-year election results statewide since a then-record $740 million bond referendum was on the ballot in 1993.

Lobbyists have worked hardest in the 16 counties where voters
will decide if homeowners and land developers should pay higher
taxes when they sell property.

Twenty-seven counties will hold referenda on higher land transfer taxes, sales taxes or both just four months after the General Assembly agreed to let all 100 counties seek these new revenues.

In Mecklenburg County, voters will decide whether to repeal an extra half-cent on the sales tax approved in 1998 for public transportation, including the state's first light-rail system.