The establishment of a new Tax Service District in Avon to fund a potential beach nourishment project will be discussed and likely determined at the next Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, March 15, at 5:00 p.m.
The proposed Avon Beach Nourishment project will place more than 1 million cubic yards of sand along the shoreline from Due East Road to the southern boundary of Avon village, covering approximately 2.5 miles of oceanfront. If approved, the project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2022, and will take an estimated 90 days to complete.
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% out of the Beach Nourishment Fund, which is funded by the county’s occupancy tax. Dare County proposes to tax the properties on the oceanside of N.C. Highway 12 from Due East Road to the Avon’s southern border at a higher rate, as this stretch of shoreline is adjacent to the proposed beach nourishment project, and will likely receive the greatest benefit. The rest of the properties in Avon will also be taxed, but at a lower rate.
The proposed tax would be 25 cents per $100 dollars, or 5 cents per $100 dollars of the property’s Dare County tax value, based on the estimated $750,000 needed annually from Avon property owners. (So for a parcel valued at $200,000, the 25-cent tax would be $500 per year and the 5-cent tax would be $100 per year.)
Due to anticipated maintenance every five years, the tax would be in place indefinitely. If approved, the tax will be applied to the next annual tax bill in the summer of 2021.
A public meeting was held on February 24 regarding the project, which garnered multiple comments from more than 40 Avon residents or property owners. The Avon beach nourishment issue also made national headlines this past weekend, due to an article posted by the New York Times.
Per the Dare County Board of Commissioners (BOC), all public comments from the February meeting and subsequent emails will be taken into consideration before reaching a decision on the proposed tax. Virtual public comments will also be accepted during the public comment period that takes place at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, per a recent announcement from Dare County.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Board of Commissioners meetings have been held virtually since last spring, and have been live-streamed on CurrentTV and the county’s YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/DareCounty. Although individuals have been given the chance to submit public comments via email since the meetings went virtual, county officials have decided to take public engagement a step further by accommodating citizens who’d like to speak at the meetings directly via a webinar platform.
During the public comment period, speakers are permitted to address the entire Dare County Board of Commissioners for up to five minutes regarding any topic, issue, or item of concern.
To register to offer a public comment during the March 15 Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1523638755994036240.
For more information on the proposed project, see the Avon Beach Nourishment FAQs or visit the Dare County website at https://www.darenc.com/government/avon-beach-nourishment.
The BOC’s strategy to target Avon property owners (who already pay state and federal taxes to cover things like nourishing a federal beach to protect a state road) to pay an extra tax…
1) Vote unanomously to invest 5k to pull the permits to start the project BEFORE holding
the first Feb 24th meeting to get community input. (Why would they invest prior to get input from community?)
2) Cut off community members during the meeting before the 5 min limit set was up in order to prevent them from publicly making effective arguments as to why Avon should not be taxed.
3) Set the tax % higher at first than lower it at the last min to make the property owners feel like they are getting a good deal.
4)Compare the Avon federal beach nourishment project to an entirely different non federal beach nourishment project up north (Southern Shores) to present the illusion that responsible partys that should fix the Avon problem are one and the same. (Southern Shores is not a federally owned beach. Comparing these projects is like comparing apples and oranges)
5) Ensure that the board member who is supposed to be representing the citizens of Avon, be completely silent and unresponsive to community member attempts to reach out to him. (Danny Couch a Buxton resident who moonlights as a realtor is supposed to be representing Avon citizens).
6)Refuse to provide citizens upon their request w/ dates and times to document all attempts made by leadership to go back to the federal govertment to secure funds for Avon specifically. (The federal govt paid partially for the Buxton Beach nourishment and depleted the funds during that project.)
7) Remain silent on the fact that the tax zoning made in the Buxton beach nourishment project efforts was drawn in a way to exclude legacy families who the BOC knew would oppose the permanent tax.
8) Pass the tax as planned w/o considering the citizens being affected.
We need new leadership organized and proactive enough to involve the community voice and bring these funding issues to the state and federal government where they belong. Please consider running! VOTE OUT OUTTAN!!!!