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Among those mayors not on the list: Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Brevard
The governor’s office released on Wednesday a copy of an open letter signed by more than two dozen mayors that criticized the current state budget and called for an increase in the statewide sales tax.
The letter follows Perdue’s most recent call to restore the 3/4-cent sales tax the current GOP-dominated legislature let expire during state budget negotiations last year.
Signed by 53 mayors from across the state, the letter said the current state budget will force “even more teacher layoffs next year.”
“We must act to prevent these additional cuts,” it continued.
Western North Carolina mayors from Burnsville, Clyde, Franklin and Marshall signed the letter. But mayors from the region’s largest towns and cities, such as Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville and Brevard, did not. Neither did mayors from Raleigh and Charlotte.
Current sales tax rates across WNC counties are 6.75 percent, with the exception of Haywood County, which is at 7 percent.
The letter reads:
Dear Fellow North Carolinians:
As mayors, we know that education is the key to our children’s future and to North Carolina’s economic future. Investing in education is central to our ability to attract new jobs and businesses to our state. When companies talk about moving here or expanding, their first question is whether we have the educated, skilled workforce they need.
The legislature’s budget has hurt education at all levels — from pre-k [sic] all the way through higher education — and has led to higher clas sizes and the loss of teacher and teaching assistant positions right here in our local schools. With their budget forcing even more teacher layoffs next year, we must act to prevent these aditional cuts. We owe it to our children and our state to stop these cuts to our schools and make education a priority again — a fraction of a penny for progress.
[Mayors, with signatures]