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Remove Davie County from the bill

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Davie county is a great example of how the supposed benefits of NC SB 236 will not be realized and there are significant downsides to this bill for Davie County. First, as for NC Senator Andrew Brock’s claim that it would allow a county to borrow money at a lower rate; a county's ability to borrow money at a lower rate is primarily based upon its fund balance and its payment history. The fund balance in Davie County is $15 million dollars. This is why we have such a high bond rating already, so further benefit from this bill would not be realized.

Brock also stated that this bill would save the county money because the county pays no sales tax whereas school boards do. As it stands in NC (unlike most other states), school boards do not have authority to fund construction or renovation projects. As a result, a loan for construction of a new school is granted to the county and remains in the county's name until the loan is paid in full (e.g., 20 years down the road). As a result, the sales tax savings is already achieved, without this bill.

Brock also specified that counties have construction departments that are equipped to deal with construction. I am personally unaware of any county in the state that has its own construction department that erects county buildings. Rather the jobs are put out to bid so that general contractors can construct schools, government offices, courthouses and the like.

There are significant downsides of this bill for Davie County. This bill began due to a history in Wake County of discord between the commissioners and the school board. This bill is largely motivated by commissioners wanting to take power away from the school boards and in Davie County this is a very hot topic now and has been for many years. The inclusion of Davie County in this bill is not about financial savings for the county, but trying to get power for the county commissioners over the much needed construction of a new high school in Davie County. As a parent in Davie County, I believe this bill threatens what is in the best interest of the children of this county-- a safer and appropriately-sized high school. Hypothetically speaking, this bill would make it feasible for the commissioners to act against the recommendations of the school board who have researched this issue and concluded (along with NCDPI) that a new school is needed and is more cost-effective than renovating and expanding the existing high school. I believe the school board is in the best position to make decisions about school property. That is what they were elected to do.

In summary, contrary to NC Senator Andrew Brock's claims, this bill does not add up to cost savings for the taxpayer. If it did, I feel confident that more than 9 out of 100 counties would be on this bill. He even removed other school districts in his area when they requested to be removed, but did not remove Davie when we asked. Clearly his inclusion of Davie County on this bill is politically motivated and clearly Davie County should be removed from this bill.

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