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I am writing to contradict the position Carlton Stevens has on funding our schools.
First of all, it is clear that Mr. Stevens and his supporters have no idea what it takes to be mayor. They make big promises with no way to achieve his goals.
Also, the mayor is symbolic. He does not vote unless there is a tie. The mayor’s primary role is to run council meetings and attend events citywide to represent our city residents and government. He does not mandate policy to the council. Oh, and by the way, Mayor Rose has done an outstanding job of this over his tenure.
Mr. Stevens’ proposal to give city money to the Wilson County school system is absurd. First of all, this would require a tax increase. Under North Carolina general statute, any new city school funding cannot come from the current general fund. New property taxes would have to be imposed. City property taxes would have to be raised, plain and simple.
So let’s say we raise taxes. Where does the money go? What if the school is in another city — let’s say Elm City or Lucama? Does the city of Wilson support schools countywide? Why are the other cities not helping out?
Also, we must look at the current county taxes we pay. Would this idea be double taxation? I say yes. We currently fund Wilson County Schools just like every other city in Wilson County through our property taxes. Would having city of Wilson residents pay more become an unnecessary burden? I say yes. After all, city residents would be paying twice for schools.
If the county needs more money for schools, commissioners are much better equipped to raise taxes and help the schools that need it. They can raise taxes countywide to help every school if they see fit.
Mr. Stevens is just playing politics and using talking points to get elected. Don’t be fooled.