Sunday, July 26, 2015

OBX Motel Files Bankruptcy and Sues NCDOT

4 comments
The Cape Hatteras Motel in Buxton, which has an ongoing lawsuit against the North Carolina Department of Transportation, alleging that work by that state agency has caused environmental damages to the business, has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a news story recently  published in the Triangle Business Journal website, dated July 20th.

The Buxton business is located in the path of a proposed $25 million beach nourishment project that is proposed to begin in 2016, and scheduled to be funded by the County of Dare with occupancy tax revenues and other borrowed funds. To date, the Dare County commissioners have not said whether local property owners on Hatteras Island will be asked to help pay for a fair portion of that project, as was required for projects on the county's northern beaches.
The news article states,  "the Buxton motel owners owes creditors more than $1 million, including nearly $30,000 in unpaid property and occupancy taxes to Dare County.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dare Commissioner Hog Wash

11 comments
Dare County Commissioners
Bob, (Chairman Woodard)

It is my understanding that you will be holding a press conference before the next board meeting, (August 3rd) relative to the sales tax redistribution proposal pending in the state budget. I would like to request that you have David Clawson, the county finance officer available at that press conference, prepared to answer questions about your position on this matter. I think you have your figures skewed and do not have an adequate handle on this matter.  Otherwise, why don't the figures you have been putting out square with those put out by the Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly?  Clawson knows a lot of this is a huge cloud of smoke and mirrors and he needs to be there to back up what you say. The whole mess is ridiculous, as to what you are putting out.

And, the least of which is why do you feel the need to play whichever side of the issue that is
advantageous to your board.  For example, let Clawson explain why he wants to use sales tax growths
of 3.25 to 3.75% in preparing our current county budget and let you cry "Whoa is me!"  ...and then argue that the growth is going to be 5+% in the last year and coming years when it is to your advantage to claim that and cry....it's makes a bigger loss for us!   ??   We know why, don't we?

Also, your claim that Dare (like Mecklenburg), invests so much in its infrastructure in order to get business here is a bunch of hogwash !   Yes, larger counties like Mecklenburg do have big investments....However, the vast majority of Dare County's investments in infrastructure are paid for by the thousands of nonresidents who build and own the rental machines here on our beaches and collect tax for us!!!!....Those rental machines are not paid for by Dare taxpayers!  We reap the benefits and also, much of the costs of providing garbage, police, etc...comes from their occupancy tax collections, rather than Dare's $16/18 million per year in sales tax revenues.

Dare's investment in its infrastructure, (other than our Taj Mahal public buildings) is minimal when compared with the other counties in NC who stand to lose much more in sales tax revenues from this proposed change,  Bob.  And, if you don't know that, certainly, David Clawson does.  One more thing, not one time have I heard any member of your board say..."if we lose sales tax revenues, we will have to tighten our belt and cut spending".....No, its...."we will have to raise property taxes!"
Why???....Explain that at your upcoming press conference....don't put out a lot of misguided propaganda!

Worst of all, the sentiment expressed in Irene Nolan's Island Free Press article today, says exactly what you, as an elected leader is also saying...."the Senate tax redistribution plan is not the answer. It will only throw money at poor counties, while wrecking a thriving  tourist economy."  This is one of the most arrogant statements and positions that any county that prides itself in being a part of the Great State of North Carolina can ever make!  Dare County should be  ashamed of itself!  If the Senate proposal benefits 83 of North Carolina's 100 counties, who the Hell Are We to say, "We are Being Raped!"....Where do we get off being so damn arrogant?

Why can't Dare, one the richest small counties in North Carolina, manage its finances better and stop being such a tax hog?  You tell me. Your upcoming press conference would be a good place to start!

Ray Midgett
Retired - NC Department of Revenue
Southern Shores, NC
July 24, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Give Hatteras Free Ride" - Allen Burrus

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Will the residents of Hatteras Island get a free ride when it comes to paying for a $25 million Buxton beach nourishment project that is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016.  Commissioner Allen Burrus of Hatteras Village is on record as saying they "shouldn't pay a penny". Burrus's entire interview can be heard on Hatteras Radio by clicking on this link.
Excerpts of Burrus' comments are available by clicking photo..
 
It was surprising to hear Burrus say that the "former board of commissioners" had committed to paying the full $25 million out of beach nourishment funds, but he wasn't sure if he could muster four votes with the current board in order to keep that promise. EyeonDare has polled the commissioners constantly for the past year and could not get a definite "yes" or "no" from any of them. Meanwhile, Burrus says that three of the commissioners are on record as saying Hatteras residents, like the residents of the northern beach towns, should help pay for their project. 

Nourishment projects for the towns of Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Duck are also scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016, with increases in some town taxes reaching as high as 31.5 cents per $100 valuation for Duck oceanfront properties, to a low of 4 cents per $100 valuation for most non oceanfront properties in Kitty Hawk.

Taxpayers wishing to express an view on this matter can email the Dare Commissioners at
DCBOC@darenc.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Woodard's Statement on Sales Tax is Incorrect

4 comments
video


Commissioner Bob Woodard went too far, in his effort on Monday, to get county residents to write  state legislators and make pleas to not redistribute sales tax collections in North Carolina. As Woodard said, the sales tax bill, currently sitting in the Senate budget, but not in the House or Governor's budget, would cost Dare County millions in annual revenues. However, Governor Pat McCrory issued a press release this week reaffirming his intention of vetoing the tax bill, even if it does survive final budget negotiations.

To reinforce his plea, Woodard told his audience on Monday, that the beach towns in Dare County had pledged their sales tax revenues as collateral to finance their nourishment projects through special obligation bonds, and would even be paying off their debt by using sales tax revenues. This is simply not true. While the towns who use this form of financing are required to pledge revenues, other than the ad valorem (municipal service districts property taxes) assessments, EyeonDare cannot find any Dare town that has pledged its sales tax revenues.  In fact, both Nags Head and Kitty Hawk have both pledged their occupancy tax revenues, and there is no indication that Duck or Kill Devil Hills will do any different.

Woodard responded to EyeonDare's inquiry about his statement by saying..."Towns use sales tax for Nourishment, the key issue is that in order for the Towns to borrow money they have to pledge a revenue stream to insure payment. If they were not to pay, then the bank can take that revenue stream to cover the debt. Towns cannot pledge a revenue stream that they themselves levy so they cannot pledge the ad valorem rate. The Towns can however pledge sales tax because the County levies the sales tax not the Towns."

However, Woodard would not say why he chose to state (see video) that the towns do, in fact, pledge the sales tax revenues, when, in fact, they do not.  Let's hope those 100's of property owners who will be paying for beach nourishment don't get too excited about Woodard's statement, because their tax bills will definitely overrule anything Woodard said.  And, the bus goes round and round.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dare EMS Payroll Expenses Higher Than State Average

46 comments
Dare County government continues to struggle with getting its salary expense line item under control within its Emergency Medical Services department.  Click here to view the base salaries and over time pay for the department's employees for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015

(source: Dare County Government)