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Brunswick County discusses changes to sales tax

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BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- For many years Brunswick County has distributed its tax dollars based on the number of full time citizens in each municipality. Now some are asking the board of commissioners to change a system that they claim is robbing the rich to pay for the poor.

"There's some discussion that method in order to benefit other places in Brunswick County that may not have full time population to get a full per capita distribution,” said sales tax committee member John Tait.

Five beach towns in Brunswick County are now lobbying for the system to be written off for an Ad Valorem tax rate that makes more sense for their bottom line.

Five beach towns in Brunswick County are now lobbying for the system to be written off

"We pay $6-million in property tax in Brunswick County and only get $120,000 back,” said Larry Lammert, the former mayor of Bald Head Island. “We're a part of the five beach communities that are generating $12-million in sales tax to the county, and we only get $35,000 back.”

14 of the 19 municipalities in Brunswick County wrote letters of support for the current per capita system which they say helps support their infrastructure.

“We would have to raise our rates in district 5 in some municipalities by over 200% in order to compensate for the lost revenue,” said Tait.

But former Bald Head Island Mayor Larry Lammert says there is a third option that’s equitable for all.

"Others have made the change using a blended rate and that probably is the best way to start this and help everybody out without hurting anyone severely,” said Lammert.

The sales tax committee will meet again on December 16th to try and figure out what the best option is for all involved.

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