The November 7 election could be a big win for Wake County Democrats. And it could dump a big problem into their laps.
Assume two things:
- The school bond issue loses.
- Democrats take control of the county commissioners.
First task for the Democrats will be figuring how to pay for more schools.
The Democrats I talk to tell me the solution is simple: impact fees. They say voters love the idea of imposing impact fees on developers.
But the WRAL/News & Observer poll raises a caution flag.
It asked the question this way: “Would you favor or oppose a countywide impact fee on new home construction that could add $3,000 to $5,000 to the cost of a new home?”
Framed that way, 59 opposed impact fees, and only 27 percent favored it.
Also, no method of raising money for the schools won a majority in the poll:
- A half-cent increase in the local sales tax is supported by 43 percent and opposed by 47 percent;
- 39 percent favor a real estate transfer tax is opposed by 39 percent and opposed by 55 percent.
If Democrats push for impact fees and higher sales taxes in 2007, will they lose their majority in 2008? And will the issue spill over into Raleigh City Council races in 2007?
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