See How Much Towns, Counties in WNC Would Lose or Gain With New Sales Tax Proposal

Published Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm

By Kirk Ross / Carolina Public Press

New analysis shows 3 WNC counties and 32 towns would lose revenue under sales tax plan.

While the process for local and public bills goes on, North Carolina’s budget work also continues. Last week saw a handful of bills changing the state tax code, including a possible revival of the historic property tax credit.

One key tax bill, which would restructure the distribution formula for sales taxes, continues to draw scrutiny, especially after a new analysis showing the bill’s impact on some cities and towns. The way the bill was drafted would hit some cities hard. And due to the variations in the way counties divide up sales tax revenue, it would, in some cases,  result in different outcomes for towns within the same county.

In Watauga County, for instance, Boone would see a jump in revenue while the rest of the county’s towns would see a drop. In all, the new analysis shows 32 out of 61 Western North Carolina cities and towns would lose revenue under the proposed distribution formula.

The bill’s main sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, said over the weekend that he would likely rework the bill, S369, to reduce “unintended consequences” for cities. Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, and Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, are both cosponsors of the bill.

Brown has said that he is pushing the change in the state sales tax system to give rural counties a greater share of the revenues. While most of WNC counties would benefit from the plan, Avery, Buncombe, Macon and Watauga counties and some towns in the region would see a large drop in revenues.

Here’s the breakdown from the legislature’s Fiscal Research Division of the impact of the bill as it is now written (with losses noted in parenthesis):

Avery County: ($318,228)

Banner Elk: ($90,265)
Beech Mountain: ($2,148)
Crossnore: ($14,380)
Elk Park: ($40,240)
Grandfather Village: ($2,236)
Newland: ($60,369)
Seven Devils: ($2,505)
Sugar Mountain: ($17,447)

Watauga County: ($1,394,220)

Beech Mountain: ($1,241,659)
Blowing Rock: ($978,447)
Boone: $575,237
Seven Devils: ($210,723)

Buncombe County: ($15,599,925)

Asheville: ($4,153,714)
Biltmore Forest: ($699,090)
Black Mountain: ($108,929)
Montreat: ($223,605)
Weaverville: ($428,028)
Woodfin: $276,108

Cherokee County: $644,986

Andrew: ($71,714)
Murphy: ($66,872)

Clay County: $836,197

Hayesville: $37,884

Graham County: $614,707

Fontana Dam: $3,701
Robbinsville: $64,392
Lake Santeelah: ($50,965)

Haywood County: $1,135,552

Canton: ($196,829)
Clyde: ($57,864)
Maggie Valley: ($49,799)
Waynesville: ($464,234)

Henderson County: $1,682,224

Flat Rock: $260,182
Fletcher: $114,642
Hendersonville: ($216,889)
Laurel Park: ($103,885)
Mills River: $818,076
Saluda: ($3,747)

Jackson County: $26,890

Dillsboro: $6,984
Forest Hills: $49,575
Highlands: ($40,292)
Sylva: $73,292
Webster: $57,957

Macon County: ($1,022,132)

Franklin: $154,729
Maiden: ($587,811)

Madison County: $2,231,853

Hot Springs: $16,037
Mars Hill: $74,078
Marshall: $25,372

McDowell County: $1,744,131

Marion: $366,573
Old Fort: $13,146

Mitchell County: $98,718

Bakersville: $36,938
Spruce Pine: $17,565

Polk County: $1,891,600

Columbus: $14,590
Saluda: $11,416
Tryon: $29,107

Rutherford County: $2,345,257

Bostic: $43,503
Chimney Rock Village: ($1,851)
Ellenboro: $112,324
Forest City: $459,719
Lake Lure: ($578,663)
Ruth: $40,508
Rutherfordton: $67,059
Spindale: $197,496

Swain County: $915,446

Bryson City: ($15,591)

Transylvania County: $775,367

Brevard: $78,143
Rosman: $69,244

Yancey County: $1,258,074

Burnsville: ($6,978)

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Carolina Public Press (“CPP”) is a nonprofit online news service providing Western North Carolina with unbiased, in-depth and investigative reporting as well as educational opportunities to journalists, students and others. CPP may be found at www.carolinapublicpress.org and its journalism is also shared and republished by some of the state’s other top media organizations.

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