Voters take to polls to decide on Gaston County $250 million school bond

- Early voters all agree the $250 million school bond on the ballot is necessary in Gaston County.

"I think our school system tries to do a good job but I think our physical plant in some cases is falling behind," Gaston County Resident Jeff Trepel said.  

"School across the county, most of them are aging and need repairs and renovations," Gaston County Resident and Running for North Carolina House District 109 Susan Maxon said

What voters can't agree on is how to pay for it. Gaston County Commissioners want to raise the sales tax by one-quarter percent to pay for the school bond.

"Everybody’s first reaction is ‘oh I don't want to pay more taxes.’ When I consider everything else that I spend my money on, I think that's a good use of it,” Gaston County Resident Carol Teeter said. 

Raising the sale tax means anyone spending money in Gaston County, regardless if they live here or not, will be paying into the school system

"I can understand doing the sales tax adjustment. In the long run, the County needs a way to finance its school system needs via the property tax because you can't keep raising the sales tax every time you need a bond issue," Trepel said.

Some feel in the long run this will hurt many residents in Gaston County.

"It's a little unfair on people on fixed incomes and the elderly, people perhaps on disability, young families that may be getting paid minimum wage, it's going to hit them harder. They already have sales tax on their utilities," Maxon said. 

Voters believe the school bond will pass but aren't sure the sales tax portion will. They say other options on how to pay for it need to be looked at first.

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