Board to hear from Havelock residents on proposed tax increase

Published: Friday, June 6, 2014 at 08:32 AM.

“We’re no different than any other business,” Tillman said. “We have to have revenue to survive.”

In a typical year, the city has a fairly clear picture of its spending plan prior to the public hearing. However, uncertainty over the state’s business license fee and a divided board has left that picture somewhat cloudy.

Residents can review the proposed budget during normal business hours at Havelock City Hall.

Havelock Mayor Will Lewis has been a vocal opponent of the state’s action on the privilege license fee, which used to be based on a business’ gross receipts. In the long term, it could cost the city $100,000 annually, he said.

“For us, you’re talking about not buying police cars,” he said of the impact on the city. “You’re talking about shutting down recreation programs. We don’t have anything to cut to amount to $100,000, so our citizens are going to take that burden on. It makes all of us sick because we don’t have any recourse and they (state legislators) are not listening to us. They’re not listening to us at all, and it’s just frustrating. I’m still fired up about it. I think it’s wrong that they would even do that.”

The Omnibus Tax Law Changes bill was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on May 29 and goes into effect July 1.

“In the history of North Carolina, they have never voted in the House, voted in the Senate and had the governor sign the bill in the same day,” Walsh said. “If there was a hurricane in Eastern North Carolina, they couldn’t get an agreement signed that fast to help any of us, but they can sure take away the taxes from us with no explanation.”

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