Emerald Isle Considers Property Tax Hike To Add Bike Paths, Recreation Areas

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Emerald Isle commissioners in Carteret County are considering a 1 cent property tax increase to finish an in-town bike path among a couple other projects.

Currently, bicyclists have 5 miles of smooth bike lanes along Highway 58 and Coast Guard Road. With a 1 cent property tax increase, the town says it could add 5.3 more miles of path spanning from Indian Beach to the point. Town Manager Frank Rush says most homeowners have expressed support for the tax hike. Thursday, he had received 300 emails since Tuesday from Emerald Isle locals concerning that tax hike getting input from property owners like Bill McMahon who doesn't want a tax hike.

"I just think it won't hurt to wait another 5 years to have them completed all the way to the east and west of the island. Do it when we have the money," said McMahon.

Rush says the average Emerald Isle home has a taxable value of $395,000 and would pay an additional $39.50 a year.

He says the town is trying to take advantage of low construction costs.

Commissioners will make a decision about the tax hike sometime in June.