Local coastal community against legislation that would redistribute sales tax

Published: Mar. 2, 2017 at 5:51 AM EST
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A bill going through our state legislature could change how sales tax revenue is distributed.

In an effort to help more rural counties, the legislation would in turn mean part of the sales tax collected in high tourism areas wouldn't stay there.

The beaches may be empty now, but soon they will be flooded with tourists and second homeowners.

Town officials for communities that rely on that money say if this bill is passed, they could be looking a big losses.

The Town of Emerald Isle says they could lose up to $80,000 and the Town of Pine Knoll Shores says their losses could be around $40,000, which for the town of 1,300, that's money that is greatly needed.

"You know $40,000 is a half penny tax in Pine Knoll and it's a fireman or a cop, and that's not a shallow or false cost, that's real, and we'll have to go into the budget looking to find that $40,000 else where," says Brian Kramer, the town manager of Pine Knoll Shores.

Municipalities like the ones in Carteret County say they are not the only areas that would be affected by this change. Any area that relies on sales tax revenue from visitors and second home owners would also be impacted.

Kramer says this bill is something that the county is hoping does not pass, because if it does, the county could be looking at around a $1 million loss that would have to be made up somehow.

Municipalities in Carteret County say they are working with local senators and representatives to see if they can stop this bill.

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Should sales tax collected in a county, stay in that county? One coastal community is speaking out about legislation that would redistribute sales tax to poorer counties that don't have that kind of income.

Town officials in Emerald Isle say they would lose between $64,000 and $83,000 annual of sales tax revenue if the Senate bill becomes law.

The figure for Carteret County as a whole is higher, of course, an estimated loss of as much as $913,000.

Emerald Isle officials say they applaud the effort to allocate money to poorer, rural counties in the state, but it should not be done on the backs of the towns and counties with strong sales tax income.

Officials say they're working to find a new option to help those counties.

We'll keep you posted.