On the March ballot, Forsyth County voters will choose whether to approve a ¼ cent sales tax that government officials say will raise teacher pay.

The Chamber supports the proposed ¼ cent sales tax as it aligns with our initiatives to attract and retain talent and develop the workforce in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to support our community’s growth and development.

The ¼ cent sales tax would be applied to purchases made in Forsyth County. The tax would amount to one penny for every four dollars spent. The tax does not apply to groceries, gas, prescription medications, automobile purchases, rent, or real estate transactions.

The revenue would provide an estimated $12 million in additional funds for Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools to be used as local teacher supplement increases. Forsyth County is currently the lowest of North Carolina’s major urban areas in local teacher supplement pay. Our community’s government and education officials jointly share a goal to be within the top 5, a policy goal that is supported by the Chamber.

Last November, voters chose a one-cent property tax increase instead of the ¼ cent sales tax increase. It generates an estimated $3.7 million that currently funds teacher supplements, short of the money needed to fully fund increased teacher pay. City and County officials plan to roll back the one-cent property tax increase if the ¼ cent sales tax is approved.

It is the Chamber’s position that the ¼ cent sales tax is not overly-burdensome on Forsyth County residents and that lowering the property tax will be a net benefit for home and property owners across Forsyth County.

As outlined in our Legislative Agenda, The Chamber advocates for the best business environment as it relates to economic development, a strong workforce, and work-ready programs that benefit employers. The Chamber is committed to our teachers who educate our future workforce. Our community must attract and retain excellent educators because they are providing quality education that is critical to every student’s future potential.

A win for teachers is a win for our workforce, our economy, our community, and most importantly our youngest citizens.

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