Yesterday a small minority of Wake County voters approved a tax increase on all property owners, by approving additional county debt that will total more than $1 billion of principle plus interest.
The Wake County school construction and renovation bond was approved by a margin of 58 to 42 percent. Predictably, however, turnout for this Oct. 8 voting day was very light – estimated at 15 percent of registered Wake voters.
Breaking down the numbers tells us that roughly 9 percent of all registered voters voted to approve the debt (58 percent of the 15 percent of all registered voters who actually voted). In other words, 91 percent of registered Wake County voters did not vote to approve the bond – but all will be forced to pay off the debt.
This, of course, is why they held the bond referendum on a day they knew voter turnout would be light. All it took was a relatively few voters who will receive very concentrated benefits from the bond’s passage (government school bureaucrats, construction companies) to show up and impose their will on the majority.
To learn more about the Wake school bond, and to test your knowledge about it, click here to take this week’s Civitas Quiz.