OUR VIEW — Future of county weighs heavily with sales tax vote

Published 10:01 am Friday, October 26, 2018

The sales tax referendum on the ballot this November is a simple choice. Does this community support our school system and the effort to make it more competitive or do we not care about our children’s future?

That’s an overly simplistic way to frame the question but also an accurate one.

The impact for individuals will be minimal. We are only talking 25 cents for every $100 spent. It’s a minimalist approach to solving a big problem. Many of us will likely spend more than that, with less thought and debate, on school fundraisers peddling cookie dough or wrapping paper.

Everyone hates taxes. The word comes with such negative connotations it is hard to see how anything good can come from a tax but in some instances a tax is worthwhile and necessary. This is one of those cases.

It is only one-fourth of a penny.

It is one penny for every $4.

It is a quarter for every $100.

It is $1 for every $400.

This is car change holder and couch cushion money.

Surely, we all can live without a candy bar or soda for every $400 we spend.

The Stanly County School Board, the County Commission, governments throughout the county and the Chamber of Commerce have voiced their support of this tax.

Gas, food and prescription drugs are not impacted by the tax, so anyone without children should be for it, right?

Citizens without children have a huge stake in this tax just as those who currently have kids in the school system.

The quality of our schools impacts our community as a whole. The safety of schools, the passing grades of students and other factors weigh on the minds of business leaders looking to move to Stanly County.

If we are perceived as a county not for schools, not for school safety, how does that look to potential businesses making decisions of building in the county or relocating to one of business parks?

If the quarter-cent sales tax option passes, Stanly County Schools plans to use funding — estimated at about $1.5 million per year by SCS — to improve security and safety at all schools, beginning at the elementary level.

SCS has a link of its website — www.stanlycountyschools.org — under the Resources drop-down menu. It provides information on where the sales tax funds are intended to go, with a breakdown by school of funding amounts.

The Stanly News & Press believes voting yes is the way to go on this issue. Voters need to focus on the safety of their children, their grandchildren and their neighbor’s children.

We do not, however, buy in to the so-called “scare tactics” that some say have been employed by those in favor of the issue.

If someone wants to do harm to students, will any layer of safety protocols 100 percent guarantee their safety? Certainly not, but this measure should provide a higher level of security to help protect our children. And if this passes our elected leaders should be held accountable to make sure those improvements are put in place.