June 27, 2013
Dare board sets hearing on
occupancy tax increase for July 15
By IRENE NOLAN
Dare County Board of Commissioners has set a public hearing on a
proposed one percent increase in the occupancy tax for Monday, July 15, at 5:30
during the regularly scheduled July board meeting.
The tax increase would go to funding beach nourishment.
towns that are interested in nourishment – Duck, Kitty Hawk, and Kill
Devil Hills -- have asked for the increase, and the Dare board also
wants to do beach nourishment on Hatteras Island.
tax in Dare County is now five percent, one cent of which is dedicated
to beach nourishment projects and is kept in the Shoreline Management
Fund. In 2010, the General Assembly gave the county permission to levy
an additional one percent.
However, the additional tax was never
levied. The money in the fund covered nourishment several years
ago in the only town in the county to do a project so far.
the board meeting on June 17, county manager Bobby Outten told the
commissioners that nourishment projects in the three towns could cost
between $47 and $62 million. The estimated amount for Hatteras
Island nourishment is not yet available.
Outten also said that
representatives of the towns and county were to meet with the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers earlier this month to explore combining forces on
some of the nourishment costs.
Figures provided at the meeting
showed that $3.8 million was collected for the Shoreline Management
Fund in fiscal year 2012. If another one percent tax is levied,
estimates are that the fund could have a balance of about $25 million
by end of the 2015 fiscal year.
The occupancy tax is charged on
all accommodations in the county – on top of a 6.75 percent sales
tax. The total tax on lodgings, including rental cottages and
motel rooms, is now 11.75 and would increase to 12.75 if the additional
tax is approved by the board.
The board hopes to act by Sept. 1,
so that rental management companies can make plans to levy the correct
tax on renters for next year.