Wake Commissioners Hear School Funding Options

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Wake County citizens group is making a public plea to the Wake County Commissioners. They want them to consider another way of raising money for the school system that's already bursting at the seams with students.

The group, Wake Up Wake County is asking commissioners to target homebuyers and sellers so voters aren't the target for another bond.

For the sake of her three-year-old son, Shawn, Hyit Siu is concerned about the Wake County school overcrowding problem.

"To have more room I think is important," Siu said.

Karen Rindge agrees. She's the chair of a citizen smart growth group called Wake Up Wake County. Rindge attended Monday's Wake County Commissioners meeting asking the commissioners to get the green light from state lawmakers for new taxes. "Transfer taxes and impact fees on new development, so we can actually help pay for schools that we're going to need in the future."

She says the impact fees that somebody would pay when they buy a new home, could generate at least $50 million dollars a year. "If that were bonded, we wouldn't have to go to the voters for another property tax increase to pay for school construction," Rindge said.

Tim Minton is with the Home Builders Association of Raleigh and Wake County. He's against the idea. "If the housing market drops tomorrow, where's the money gonna come from?"

Minton adds, "When you look at this issue of impact fees and transfer taxes, you're basically taking a small segment of society to pay for a community need."

But parent, Hyit Siu says there is a good reason why it might be worth it. "You spend a lot of money on unnecessary things, like going shopping and stuff like that, why not spend it on your kids, I think it's important."

If commissioners want to consider the issue, they will have to do at a future meeting.

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