Sales tax proposal could cost counties, towns millions

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — In Southeastern North Carolina concern is growing about a bill that could affect how your money is spent.

The proposal would mean sales tax money spent here would no longer stay here and instead be spread around to all 100 counties in the state.

The bill in the General Assembly would hit some parts of our area hard, and that has business owners worried. We talked with one downtown business owner who says he worries the bill could hurt his business by not allowing the City of Wilmington to have enough money to accommodate the influx of tourists we see every year.

“That’s what’s attractive about here is that we get so many people that visit. Without those sales tax dollars being pumped into our infrastructure, we aren’t going to be able to sustain it,” said Hunter Ford, owner of Momentum Surf and Skate in Downtown Wilmington.

New Hanover County Commissioner Beth Dawson agrees.

“We do also have some concerns as far as what may be coming down the pipeline from Raleigh,” Dawson said.

According to data from state officials, New Hanover County would lose more than $2 million, or 4 percent of its sales tax revenue in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. That number could climb as high as more than $11 million by the year 2020.

Brunswick County is in a similar boat, set to lose almost $1 million next year, or 4.5 percent of its projected sales tax revenue in the next fiscal year. A number could almost double, taking away 7.2 percent of their revenue by 2020.

However in Columbus County it’s a different story. They’re expected to gain almost $1 million next year if the bill passes and almost triple that by 2020.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Harry Brown, an Onslow County Republican. Gov. Pat McCrory has said he strongly opposes this legislation.

Categories: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, NC, New Hanover, News, Pender

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