At this week’s meeting, New Hanover County Commissioners reviewed the recommended budget for 2016-2017. The proposal includes a 5.5-cent property tax increase.
Since 2006, New Hanover County voters have authorized more than $340 million in debt. County manager Chris Coudriet says a property tax hike is necessary in order to pay off the principal and interest:
"I don’t relish asking for the Board to consider raising the property tax rate, but I see no alternative when you think about all of the voter-approved debts that we are now paying on. Plus, what is often lost in translation is the fact that there is an obligation from the County to now raise the revenue to operate many of these new facilities, whether it’s at the community college or the park system that we have invested in over the last ten years."
Coudriet says new school facilities will also increase operating costs for the county. According to his proposal, all of the money raised from the property tax hike would go directly to a debt service reserve.
The Board is set to comment on the budget during the May 12th work session. The meeting will be held at 2 o'clock at the New Hanover County Government Center in the Lucie Harrell Conference Room, 230 Government Center Drive, Wilmington, NC. Click here for details.