After receiving the final total of Dare County’s occupancy tax revenue for 2020, (which goes towards the county’s Beach Nourishment Fund), county officials have found that the proposed beach nourishment tax for Avon property owners can be lowered from a rate of 40 or 10 cents per $100 dollars of property value to 25 or 5 cents per $100 of property value, per an update from Dare County Manager Bobby Outten.
Outten shared the news at a virtual public meeting to discuss the proposed beach nourishment project for Avon, which was held on Wednesday, February 24. Per the project proposal, Avon property owners will pay approximately 50% of the beach nourishment project cost, and Dare County will pay the other 50%.
“We got the final tally of the occupancy tax from last year, and on Friday, we ran the [proposed Avon tax] model again,” he said. “As we ran the model, we had more money in the fund than we did initially, and found that we only need $750,000 per year to pay the community’s share of the project. The 40 cent tax rate can be reduced to 25, and the 10 cent tax rate can be reduced to 5 cents.”
Dare County proposes to tax the properties on the oceanside of N.C. Highway 12 from Due East Road to the southern boundary of Avon at a higher rate, as this stretch of shoreline is adjacent to the proposed beach nourishment project, and will therefore receive the greatest benefit. The rest of the properties in Avon will also be taxed, but at a lower rate.
In a letter sent to 3,700 Avon property owners last month, the county stated that the proposed tax would be 40 cents per $100 dollars or 10 cents per $100 dollars of the property’s Dare County tax value, based on an estimated $1.3 million needed each year from Avon property owners. So, for example, for a parcel valued at $200,000, the 40 cents tax would be $800 per year. For a parcel valued at $200,000, the 10 cents tax would be $200 per year.
On Tuesday evening, Outten announced that with the increased revenue from 2020’s occupancy tax, which boosted the Beach Nourishment Fund, only $750,000 would be required from Avon property owners.
(The Occupancy Tax rate for Dare County is 6% of gross receipts derived from the rental of rooms, campsites, or similar accommodations, including vacation rental homes. 2% of this tax is in turn earmarked for the Beach Nourishment Fund, which funds nourishment projects throughout the county.)
Under the new calculation, for a parcel valued at $200,000, the 25 cents tax would be $500 per year. For a parcel valued at $200,000, the 5 cents tax would be $100 per year.
If approved, the tax would be incorporated into the upcoming tax bill that comes out in the summer of 2021.
No final decision has been made on the Avon Beach Nourishment project. A decision will not be made until after the public meeting, in order to give property owners an opportunity to share their input, and the issue will likely be discussed and decided on at a March Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting.