The Guilford County Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday, May 21 to ask the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to put a quarter-cent sales tax hike referendum on the ballot for the November 2024 election. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners will approve that request – on what’s also likely to be a unanimous vote – and then the real work begins for school leaders, school advocates and all those who would like to see the sales tax increase in order to get more money to Guilford County Schools.

Earlier this month, Guilford County Manager Mike Halford brought his recommended budget to the commissioners, and, even though money for education and school bond debt takes up 45 percent of the county’s budget, Halford’s recommendation fell roughly $47 million short of the amount the school board had requested.

This will be the seventh time that the voters of Guilford County will have a chance to approve a self-imposed sales tax hike of one-quarter of a cent.  The attempt has failed six times before; however, school officials and county officials are hopeful that, if the Board of Commissioners commits the estimated $25 million in annual proceeds to help pay the salaries of teachers and other school employees, county voters will be more likely to approve the measure.

If that happens, there could be more money for the schools in the next budget; however, right now, Guilford County Schools’ officials are none too happy with the manager’s recommended budget.

Last year, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners threw in some additional millions for the schools before adopting the final budget, but it’s not known if that will happen again this year.