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To the editor:
On May 6, voters in Brunswick County will have the opportunity to weigh in at the polls on a quarter-penny tax levy. While the idea of any tax increase may be unsettling, there are actually many advantages of this proposed increase to address some of the shrinking state and federal resources available to our schools and beach communities.
The quarter penny tax would bring Brunswick County to the same rate as our neighbor New Hanover County (7 percent) and would create a sustainable funding source for county officials to share between two of Brunswick County’s most important economic drivers: public schools and our beaches.
The beauty of the increase is that property taxes are not impacted; rather, the increase is shared with every citizen and visitor to our county. Gas and groceries are exempt from and the reality of the increase equates to a $.02 addition on an $8 restaurant meal.
As chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Education, I can without hesitation make the case for more than $100 million of capital needs to ensure our schools have the necessary facilities. … The tax increase will allow us to leverage financing to cover the most pressing facility needs right away and delay and possibly reduce the size of an inevitable bond referendum for voters to consider in the coming years.
For these reasons and to support the continued efforts of our educators to prepare our children for their future, I urge you to vote “yes” on May 6.
Editor’s note: Thompson is seeking re-election to the Brunswick County Board of Education.