New Hanover residents likely to see tax rate increase

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WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) —  New Hanover County residents likely will see a tax rate increase following a budget work session where the county board of commissioners agreed not to use the county’s fund balance to avoid a tax increase.

“I believe this is a responsible, prudent budget,” board Vice Chairwoman Beth Dawson said after Thursday’s 90-minute session, during which three members agreed to propose raising the county’s tax rate from 55.4 cents per $100 of assessed value to 57.4 cents, or 3.6 percent. For someone with a home assessed at $200,000, annual taxes would increase by $40 per year, from $1,108 to $1,148.

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Commissioners Woody White and Skip Watkins, who advocated for using more fund balance money to avoid the tax increase, each said they will vote against the proposal while Dawson, Chairman Jonathan Barfield and Commissioner Rob Zapple endorsed the proposed spending plan of about $300 million.

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