Dare County, N.C. (WTKR) - Dare County Commissioners are still fighting against lawmakers in Raleigh that want to redistribute sales tax revenue.
As it stands currently, a portion of sales tax revenue from each county in North Carolina goes back to the county where a purchase is made.
The original redistribution proposal, presented by Senator Harry Brown (R-District 6), would mean that sales tax revenue would be redistributed to counties based on population.
This would increase the amount of sales tax collected in Dare County going back to the state from 78% to 94%. The county says they would need to increase property tax rates nearly 25% to make up the difference.
"We feel like we do our fair share for the state. We give back quite a bit and this would be another huge burden," Chairman Bob Woodard told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo in July.
Chairman Woodard explained that the additional amount that would be taken by the state is greater than:
- Half of the funding currently allocated for Dare County Schools
- More than the entire Emergency Medical Services (EMS) budget for Dare County
- More than 91% of the Sheriff's budget for deputies, 911 Communications and the jail
The difference in Dare County would be between 9 and 12 million dollars, money Woodard says would have to be made up by either cutting back on services or increasing taxes.
"I just don't feel like it's the right time or that our citizens can handle another tax increase especially to this degree that the county would have to do if we were not to cut services," Woodard stated.
Dare County Commissioners have been traveling to Raleigh to lobby against the "devastating consequences" if the sales tax redistribution is enacted.
On August 13th, the Senate released a revised sales tax redistribution plan that would split the local sales tax revenue 50-50, with 50% of the tax based on point of sale and the other 50% based on population.
The revised plan softens the impact for some counties, but still sets Dare County up to lose approximately $4.5 million in next year's budget.
Dare County would be giving away the greatest percentage of sales tax revenue in North Carolina counties under either sales tax redistribution plan.
County leaders are encouraging residents and those who own vacation or retirement property in Dare County to Take Action and call or e-mail state legislators and budget conferees. Contact information is available at www.ncleg.net.