By Jesse Wood
April 14, 2014. Boone Mayor Andy Ball will speak before the Watauga County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning and request that the commissioners revert the sales tax distribution method to a per capita basis, which would provide significantly more revenue to the Town of Boone than does the ad valorem method.
Last year, the GOP-led commissioners voted for the ad valorem method. Before the vote, Chair Nathan Miller said that this change was being considered in hopes of gaining leverage on selling the old Watauga High School property, which is owned by the county but falls within city limits and Boone’s regulations.
With the tax switch, the Town of Boone saw a revenue loss of roughly $1.7 million, while Beech Mountain, Seven Devils and Blowing Rock saw a considerable increase – an extra $470,000 for Beech Mountain; $334,000 for Blowing Rock; and $73,000 for Seven Devils. And that is after the “hybrid solution” that Miller worked out with those counties.
The deadline to change the distribution method to be effective for the upcoming fiscal year, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners must pass a resolution and send it to Raleigh by the end of the month.
While the Town of Boone recently passed a resolution urging the commissioners to revert the sales tax distribution method to per capita, the towns of Blowing Rock, Seven Devils and Beech Mountain all passed resolutions recently requesting that the commissioners maintain the ad valorem method.
How persuasive Ball is on Tuesday, of course, remains to be seen?
At a budget meeting in March, Blowing Rock Town Manager Scott Fogleman told the Blowing Rock Town Council that, from speaking with County Manager Deron Geouque, a change in the distribution method by the commissioners isn’t anticipated in the coming weeks.
For much more info on this topic between the town and county, click here.