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New Hanover commissioners table 'riverfront mixed use' development, want to lower property tax

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County Commissioner Deb Hayes speaks on lowering taxes for New Hanover County Residents.

At the end of Monday’s New Hanover County Commissioners meeting, board members vowed to “look into the budget process” to lower taxes. Vice-chair Deb Hays spoke up saying budget season is around the corner and that they’d like to see the tax burden on property owners go down. The other board members signaled they were on board with the idea.

Last year, the county passed a contentious ‘effective’ tax raise – while the tax rate actually went down, property values increased across the board following a county-wide property reappraisal, leading to higher tax bills for property owners.

Earlier in the meeting the board also voted to table the conversation about the proposed text amendment to allow for high density development on the west bank of the Cape Fear River.

The text amendment was brought forth by Frank Pasquale of KFJ Development – the company has also proposed a massive, $500 million project that would feature 20-story buildings. That project, known as Battleship Point, could only be approved if the text amendment passed, and would be the tallest development in the county.

Related: Eagles Island is mostly undeveloped. That wasn't always the case.

Commissioner Rob Zapple said at their agenda meeting last Thursday that the board should have work sessions to talk more about the amendment. Jonathan Barfield agreed, citing environmental concerns.