UPDATE: Latest sales tax plan passes Senate
By IRENE NOLAN
The North Carolina Senate today passed
House Bill 117, the "N.C. Competes" economic development
legislation that includes a scaled back plan to redistribute sales
The plan, even in its scaled back
version, would take more than $4 million in revenue from Dare County
and has motivated local officials to mount a fierce campaign to stop
The vote was 34-12. Sen. Bill Cook,
who represents Dare County, was not present for today's vote. He had
an "excused absence."
The House crafted version of the bill,
which passed back in March, did not include the sales tax
That plan was first introduced in March
in the Senate as a stand-alone bill, Senate Bill 369, which never got
out of committee. The Senate then wrote the plan into its version of
the state budget for the next fiscal year, but that met resistance
from the House and Gov. Pat McCrory.
The Senate then wrote the sales tax
plan into the N.C. Competes legislation, which has been sought and
promoted by McCrory.
Today's action sends the bill back to
the House for its concurrence. If the House does not concur with the
Senate changes, the bill will go to a conference committee to hammer
out a compromise acceptable to both chambers.
Local officials are urging Dare
residents and property owners to write to all members of the House
asking them to oppose the bill.
To make the process easier, Dare County
has created a group e-mail that will distribute correspondence to all
118 House members. It is [email protected].
Senate version of the plan, which passed today, splits the
distribution of sales tax revenue with half based on point-of-sale
and the other half on population. If made into law, the
redistribution would go into effect in the fiscal year beginning July
scenario would reduce sales tax coming back to Dare County and local
municipalities by 24 percent. For that county that amount equals
about $4.6 million.
sends 75 percent of the revenue back to local governments where a
product or service is sold and 25 percent distributed around the
state according to population.
version of the sales tax redistribution, in SB 369 and the Senate
budget, would have just about flipped the current law's formula -- 80
percent would be distributed around the state with only 20 percent to
Dare and its municipalities.
Dare County has an advantage under the
current law because its tourism industry draws big dollars in sales
taxes relative to its small population.
Local officials have said that if the
sales tax plan is changed, the county and its cities will be forced
to cut services or raise property taxes -- or both.
Raleigh reloads but still aims to take
sales tax from Dare
update: Sales tax plan proposal scaled back, but still alive
leaders hammer away at sales tax plan
takes aim at Dare County