via Coastal Review Online

NC - Town Eyes New Tax Districts for Sand Project

Revenue from a possible town-wide property tax increase in North Topsail Beach next year will not likely be funneled solely to pay for a joint, 50-year federal beach project.

North Topsail Beach aldermen reached a consensus last week to create two municipal service districts within town as a way to bring in funds to cover its portion of the estimated $672 million project.

The consensus reached during the board’s Dec. 3 meeting was to give the town’s financial advisers a path to follow in hashing out a plan to be presented to the Local Government Commission. The board did vote on the matter. Mayor Joann McDermon was not at the meeting.

Municipal service districts are used by local governments to pay for projects by collecting additional property taxes from the property owners who stand to benefit most. Money the town would collect from an additional property tax that would be levied in each of the districts – one soundside and one oceanside – would contribute to the estimated $3 million-a-year price tag of the proposed 50-year project.

The board has not determined how much additional property tax would be charged in the districts as it moves forward with plans to initiate paid public parking at its beach accesses and request legislative approval to increase the town’s occupancy tax – all of which would be collected to fund the federal project.

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