New Hanover County commissioners vote to move forward with transportation sales tax

The quarter cent sales tax would fund transportation improvements within the community.
(Photo: Wave Transit)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover county board of commissioners met Monday to discuss homelessness, taxes and more. 

At the meeting, the commissioners voted to move forward with adding a quarter cent transportation sales tax for citizens to vote on as part of the November 2022 ballot.  

The quarter cent sales tax would fund transportation improvements, including enhancing bus services offered by Wave Transit with the opportunity to add dedicated bus lanes in the future, adding new bicycle and pedestrian paths in both the city and unincorporated areas of the county, and rail realignment – all to improve public transportation in the community. 

“This sales tax would apply to residents and visitors who make purchases in New Hanover County, and would be equal to an individual spending an additional penny for every $4 spent,” said Chief Financial Officer Lisa Wurtzbacher, who presented an overview of the sales tax and its potential uses to Commissioners. “It could potentially generate more than $144 million in funding over 10 years, which would be dedicated to increasing efficient and effective transportation options in our community and expanding connectivity with trails that are safe and convenient for residents.”

Funds generated from this sales tax cannot replace existing funding that is currently allocated for public transportation related needs and cannot be used toward general street or road improvements. 

The vote was 4 to 1, with commission chair Julia Olson-Boseman voting “no” stating that is is not the time for a tax increase.

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