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Mecklenburg County Debates New School Costs

Mecklenburg County School Supt. James Thornton and County Administrator Wayne Carter have differing estimates on the property tax impact of building new schools. Dr. Thornton predicts a 7¢ tax hike. Carter believes the tax increase would be 16¢ to 18¢ for a $75 million dollar consolidated high school.

Considering a combined middle and high school complex, Thornton estimates a cost of 105 million, and a 15¢ tax hike. Carter estimates a cost of $125 million and a 24¢ to 28¢ increase in property taxes.

In 2010 county supervisors commissioned a study to determine building costs for three scenarios for school construction. According to the Mecklenburg Sun, Thornton told school trustees and parents recently that waiting to build anything will cost more and it won’t save any money.