WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – It could cost you more to stop and smell the roses as a new entertainment tax goes into effect in the Tar Heel state.
The state entertainment tax went into effect on January 1st, but Monday night New Hanover County Commissioners took the first steps to implement it in New Hanover County.
"The foundation board of directors has worked very hard these last couple of months to find ways to efficiently implement the 7% sales tax that has been passed down and mandated from the state,” said Beth Dawson.
While the cost of admission at Airlie Gardens will remain $5 for New Hanover County residents, non-resident ticket costs are rising like the flowers they are coming to see, and at least one commissioner isn’t happy about it.
"For me it's pretty much a money grab from the state government trying to find ways to increase their budget as they've done tax reform across the state,” said Jonathan Barfield. “It's really going to hit a lot of non-profits and governmental entities throughout the state except for the state government itself."
According to Commissioner Barfield the tax is unfair since the state run facilities are exempt, and it shifts the burden to collect on local government.
"They're trying to find way to nickel and dime counties and cities to increase their budget but at the same time it's costing the local tax payers here money and I don't agree with that,” said Barfield.
"All across the state our other organizations will be feeling this impact,” said Dawson. “Our arts and theatre communities will be looking for efficient ways to handle this with the least impact on our citizens."
Chairman Woody White added a stipulation that the county reconsider the higher rates if the legislature offers a tax exemption for local governments.