We have fallen behind in state spending on education. We need to pay teachers at least the national average salary and give them credit for valuable on-the-job experience and advanced degrees. We have our priorities wrong. Governor Cooper proposed an 8% increase in teacher pay which would have narrowed the pay gap by eliminating yet another tax cut going to billion-dollar corporations in 2019. Instead, my opponent helped pass another unneeded corporate welfare benefit—a 16% tax cut to big corporations—all at the expense of teacher pay.
Impact Fees for Schools
Tax hikes to fund school construction are underway. We have just witnessed the first round of tax increases from Cabarrus County because of inadequate planning and funding of schools and the refusal by state and local governments to require developers to pay their fair share. The second round of tax hikes is waiting in the wings in the form of higher sales taxes on working families, the working poor and senior citizens. We need to identify the problem and tackle it at its roots.
Developers should pay their fair share of increased costs. Growing counties like Cabarrus and Union are attractive to developers because of our excellent schools. Out-of-county developers are building apartments and houses in areas where our existing educational facilities will simply be inadequate. We need to ask these developers to help contribute to the cost of the schools their developments are impacting and to pay their fair share. This is a time-proven effective method of funding schools that has had no negative impact on economic activity. Our delegation in Raleigh recently all voted for a bill that excluded this method of funding for new schools. If we are to avoid further county tax hikes, the authority to re-implement these fees on developers must be obtained.