A controversial tax increase passed Tuesday will help provide funding for local schools that struggled to absorb millions in state funding cuts this year.
The quarter-cent sales tax referendum received about 60 percent approval — or more than 10,700 votes — according to the unofficial results.
The same referendum failed by slightly more than 1,000 votes last year, but the county put the referendum on the ballot again, saying lack of voter education was the reason it originally failed.
The quarter-cent increase is expected to bring in about $2.5 million in revenue to be split evenly between education and economic development.
“Because of the budget cuts schools felt from state level, it was vital we do this as soon as possible,” said Bernadette Pelissier, chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools received about $6.2 million in state budget reductions this year, which they absorbed in part by dipping into their savings.