By IRENE NOLAN
The North Carolina House of Representatives today passed a bill that will allow Dare County to raise the local sales tax by 1/4 percent without a voter referendum to pay for inlet dredging. The vote was 114-3.
The bill, House Bill 388, which was introduced Monday and amended yesterday, now moves to the Senate for its approval. If it is passed in the Senate, the Dare County Board of Commissioners must have a public hearing before they can pass a resolution to enact the sales tax increase. The board must give 10 days notice on the public hearing.
According to a rewritten version of the bill, it may become effective on the first day of any calendar quarter so long as the county gives the Secretary of the Department of Revenue at least 75 days advance notice of the new tax levy.
House Bill 388 is apparently on a fast track in the General Assembly, but it will be difficult to get the bill passed, signed, and through a public hearing and then give 75 days notice before July 1, which is the beginning of a new fiscal year for the county.
The bill would increase the sales tax by 25 cents on each $100 spent and would raise the sales tax in Dare County to 7 percent. Groceries are exempt from the sales.
Click here to read a new version of House Bill 388.