Sales tax hike won't stop property tax increase
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Most New Hanover County Commissioners lobbied for a sales tax increase, saying it could help avoid a property tax increase. Voters narrowly approved the sales tax hike last night, but they may still face a bigger property tax bill.

Even with the sales tax increase, the county is looking at about a $6 million shortfall. Part of the problem is paying for the bonds voters passed a few years ago.

If commissioners approve a one-cent property tax increase to cover the bonded debt, it would still leave the county about $3 million in the red. Rather than raising taxes further to cover that shortfall, commission chair Jason Thompson suggests cutting quality of life services by 10 percent across the board. Commissioner Bill Caster is also in favor of cutting spending, rather than a tax increase.

"I'm personally against property tax," Caster said. "I hope we don't have to get into that, because people are hurting already, and that just increases it."

Caster suggests holding off on issuing a bond for new construction at Cape Fear Community College and cutting some of the 900 jobs the county pays for in the school system.

The cuts could start tomorrow. The Commission has a budget work session at the Government Complex at 2 p.m.

Aside from the penny property tax increase to cover the bonded debt, county commissioner Jonathan Barfield supports an extra one-cent increase to cover the rest of the shortfall.

Thompson would also consider an additional property tax increase. Caster and Ted Davis say they would not support an additional property tax increase. Bobby Greer would not say either way.

The county budget must be finalized by the end of June.

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Thanks to a bunch of uninformed IDIOTS...we get BOTH! If you guys would have INFORMED YOURSELVES instead of reading a NHC PAMPHLET...that spun it in one direction....we would be facing only ONE increase....NOW because we have a bunch of IDIOTS voting who just believe what they hear from one side...we have a DOUBLE tax increase....

THANKS...SUCKAS!!! Now they can mismanage the extra sales tax AND the extra money taken from your property taxes!

You must not live in the city of Wilm. Property owners in NHC living in the city limits must also be concerned about property tax hikes by the City of Wilm. Therefore, we as voters made a very SMART decision voting for the sales tax increase. No matter what the county decides to do with property taxes, we will see one from the City!!

Okay, instead of having a 2 or 3 cent increase on our property taxes which will cost us more, we'll have 1 cent on property & 1/4 percentage on sales tax. Sales tax can be controlled. If you are not spending unnecessarily then the sales tax isn't going to affect you that much. They DID NOT raise the sales tax on gas & food which is what most in this economy are spending their money on. I feel those who didn't vote for the sales tax increase are the real "suckas" as you put it. Why as a property owner should I be soley responsible for the services maintained by the county, when in fact I personally do not get to enjoy them as often as I'd like. I'm not sitting on the beach all day, or enjoying downtown Wilm or having a leisurely day at the library. Because of my work schedule & the cutbacks libraries are no longer open on Sundays. Let the tourists help pay for some of that. Why as a homeowner should I be soley responsible for providing fire/police/rescue services & money to fund our schools when renters also receive these services. Why should a family who's main provider lost their job have to wait longer to receive services needed to feed their children because of staff reductions. Let's face it, many of those receiving public assistance (not under extreme circumstances) are not property owners. The sales tax helps spread this burden & responsiblity to everyone using services in NHC whether they reside here or not. Why don't you do some research and inform yourself before lashing out. This was a very tough decision for the residents in NHC. People did take this seriously & looked at the overall picture & the bottom line. And lets not forget that the commissioners are also residents of NHC and property owners. What decisions they make will also AFFECT them. If you have ideas and suggestions that would actually benefit this county, why don't you offer your suggestions to the commissioners instead of calling them idiots. I believe the Elections Board has their email addresses on file.

For all of the people who voted for the sales tax, I just want to say thanks alot. Mr. Thompson thanks you too! Hope the mentaly disturbed Pantano helps you out too. Everyone must have been scared if they did'nt vote for him, he may empty not one, but TWO clips in them!

since the elected officials never said there wouldn't be an increase in property taxes IF the sales tax increase passed. The ineptitude of those elected officials never ceases to amaze me. The modus operandi appears to be the property owners of New Hanover County have an unlimited supply of funds.

Jason...remember, your actions WILL have consequences come election time...not only for you, but for your "buddies" as well.