New Hanover commissioners say state sales tax plan could lead to property tax hike

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County leaders say they are worried about a sales tax plan that they fear could cost the county sales tax revenue and lead to a property tax increase.

Today New Hanover County Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield (D) sent a letter on behalf of the commission to the county’s legislative delegation, including Sen. Bill Rabon (R), Sen. Michael Lee (R), Rep. Susi Hamilton (D), Rep. Ted Davis (R) and Rep. Rick Catlin (R), about Senate Bill 369, which would allocate sales tax revenue on a per capita basis across the state.

“The bill effectively redirects New Hanover County sales tax to other units of local government that are largely absent a retail and/or commercial base,” Barfield wrote. “White redirecting sales taxes, the bill does not propose redirecting or lifting any mandated service obligation from New Hanover County; therefore, the consequence to every property owner is a property tax increase.”

Commissioner believe by the time proposed changes are fully implemented in 2019, the plan could cost the county about $13.7 million in sales tax revenue compared to the way disbursement is calculated now. In fact, they say it would mean less revenue than what the county made last year. Those amounts may have to be offset by property tax increases of 2-4 cents per $100 of value.

Commissioner are also concerned what such a loss in revenue would mean to the county’s bond debt and future bond obligations without a larger than expected property tax increase.

Instead of the reallocation plan, Barfield writes that the delegation should propose working on other solutions to help counties that struggle economically.

Categories: New Hanover

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *