Prince George's County Delegates Propose Sales Tax Increase for Schools

Delegates in Prince George's County want to raise the sales tax to help pay for schools.

A bill would raise the sales tax in the county from 6 percent to 7 percent.

Prince George's County schools have a $2 billion maintanence backlog. The bill's sponsors said it would raise almost $100 million to invest in school infrastructure.

"In Prince George's County if you buy a soda for 99 cents, instead of paying $1.04, we're going to ask you to pay $1.05," said General Assembly Del. Jay Walker (D-Dist. 26), the bill's co-sponsor. "If the people of Prince George's County are willing to step up and invest in their school facilities, allow us to do so."

The Prince George's County school system forecast $247 million in construction needs for the 2015-2016 school year. Schools are awaiting approval of a request for $177.9 million in funding from the county.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has allocated $17.8 million for Prince George's County schools in his budget proposal, out of a total of $250 million for school construction statewide. 

News4 talked to Maryland shoppers who were divided on the issue.

"I think Maryland has enough competition with Delaware, Virginia, the District, there has to be another way," said Derek Abrams.

"I'm not opposed to it, provided the money goes where it's supposed to go," said Brenda Doles. "I'm 100 percent in favor of it."

The bill would first need to pass through Annapolis and the County Council must approve it before going to a referendum in 2016.

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