MOORESVILLE – On this year’s Iredell County November election ballot, voters will get to choose whether to approve an increase to the county sales and use tax.
What the ballot does not say is where that extra quarter percent of tax will be going.
In June, Iredell County Commissioners unanimously approved putting a quarter-cent tax increase on the November ballot to provide extra funding to the county’s two schools districts and Mitchell Community College, as well as the county.
The resolution passed at the commissioners’ June 19 meeting said either $1.5 million or 25 percent – whichever is greater – of the annual tax revenue would go to the county, while the rest went to education.
Terry Haas, chief financial officer for Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD), said based on three years of historical sales tax data, the county expects to bring in about $6.6 million in total annually if the measure wins approval.
Should the tax be approved this November, the county would start collecting it in April, and school districts would be able to start budgeting with that added revenue for next school year.
Haas said that MGSD would expect to see approximately $933,000 annually from the tax, based on its attendance record and the attendance records of Mitchell Community College and Iredell-Statesville Schools.
“And while I’ll account for it with the other local money we get from the county, it will be a separate allocation,” Haas said. “And it will be accounted for separately so we can report back to the county how we spent that money.”
The money uses will have to be presented to the county in broad categories like student safety, student support and instruction.
“And then those three categories cover everything from SROs (school resource officers) to cameras for the school buildings,” Haas said. “Student support would be things like nurses, guidance counselors and social workers.”
The quarter-cent increase would make the county’s sales tax rate increase to 7 percent, which is in line with surrounding counties.
The portion of the annual revenue that would go to the county would be used to bolster its general fund and have in cases of emergency.