Committee seeks support for tax increase
Commissioners seek the approval of residents for a proposed sales tax increase to help fund a construction of a high school in northern Davidson County. The tax would cost citizens 25 cents for every $100 they spend, or one fourth of 1 cent.
Davidson County Commissioners appointed Dr. Max Walser as head of a committee that is charged with raising support for a referendum in May which would increase sales tax. Instead of 6.75 percent, as it is now, the tax would be set at 7 percent.
"He's a former school superintendent. He is also a former commissioner, so he knows our thought processes," Potts said. "I've known Max and his family for probably over 50 years. He dedicated his life to education and public service. If anybody has the ability to gain support for this referendum pass, it's Max."
Potts said among his other credentials, Walser has chaired previous committees on school bond issues that have benefitted the county schools, including Davidson County Community College.
One of the primary issues facing the committee as it tries to recruit supporters will come in persuading residents in the eastern, western and southern parts of the county who are unhappy the increase would go to fund a school that would not directly affect their children. The school is projected to be built across from Oak Grove Middle School, which opened in 2012 on Hoy Long Road. It would cost approximately $45 million.
Construction for the high school has been the topic of conversation since the middle school was built to alleviate overcrowding at Ledford Middle School and North Davidson Middle.
"The advantage is that it distributes the burden of a tax increase, instead of a 3 or 4 percent property tax increase," Potts said. "We're already paying seven cents on the dollar [in state sales tax]. I would say having the quarter-cent sales tax is the way to get money back into the county.
"There is going to have to be a new high school; there is no question. It's just a matter of when, not if."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.