The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday September 28th

Board Says Increase In Taxes Last Resort

At a meeting Monday night in Hillsborough, board members said they will need $3 million more than they expect to receive from their portion of the $47 million bond if it passes. Residents will vote on the total $75 million package Nov. 6.

Board member David Kolbinsky said Orange County Schools are entitled to a large amount of funds from the proposed bond referendum. They also are guaranteed 49 percent of the total county budget.

Kolbinsky said a property tax increase to fund the school system is a last resort for the board. "The tax increase is the only other means for raising funds."

The board is attempting to establish a tax similar to the one already existing in Chapel Hill. "Twenty cents per hundred property tax is set aside for education in Chapel Hill," Kolbinsky said. "North Orange County should receive half of that amount (from its tax increase)."

If the requested amount is attained, the board will use the money to make additions to old schools and to build a new high school. "We held some money from the current (high) school to start up the new Cedar Ridge High School," said board member Delores Simpson. "We want to repay the schools that haven't been given as much funds as they should have."

The Fund Task Force, a group of northern Orange County residents that aims to find new funding methods for Orange County schools, will soon inform the board about whether a tax increase is possible. Board members will meet with the Orange County Commissioners on Sept. 24 to discuss the funding measure.

If the tax increase is not feasible, Kolbinsky said taxpayers might vote on borrowing money from the community.

Simpson said the task force held their final meeting to study the tax option. "They are scheduled to report their decision very soon. Our committee will meet with the commissioners next week if the tax can be part of our funding."

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