• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Voters approve ¼ cent sales tax for teacher supplements

On March 3, voters approved the ¼ cent sales tax for teacher supplements.

As required by state law, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners will vote whether to levy the tax on March 19. Following this vote, the tax will go into effect July 1, 2020. It will add a quarter of a penny per dollar on purchases in Forsyth County, increasing the sales tax in the county from 6.75% to 7%. The tax will not apply to groceries, gas, prescriptions drugs, real estate transitions or automotive sales. The tax is estimated to raise more than $13 million annually for teacher supplements.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools have stated that teachers will see an increase in their supplement pay of between $2,000 to $3,000 per year in the 2020-21 school year. While the state pays teachers’ base salary, local school systems often offer supplements to help recruit and retain the best educators. WS/FCS currently has the lowest local supplement among urban counties in the state. The revenue generated by the ¼ cent sales tax will be enough to put the school system in the Top 5 in the state on teacher supplements.

Once the local sales tax goes into effect, it is anticipated that county commissioners will lower the property tax rate by one cent in the next budget that will go into effect on July 1, 2020, which they will begin discussing in May and will approve in June. This will repeal a one-cent property tax increase that was included in this year’s budget, which generated an estimated $3.7 million for teacher supplements. The ¼ cent sales tax will produce more than three times that amount.

Of the 79,873 votes cast on this ballot issue, 59.72% of them were in favor of the measure. Forsyth County is now among more than 40 countries in the state that have a voter-approved ¼ cent sales tax.

For more information about the new tax, visit https://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/Page/114860.

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