Sales tax hike?

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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GATESVILLE – One-fourth of one penny more….that’s what the Gates County Board of Commissioners may consider asking county citizens to decide on a proposed sales tax increase.

At a recent board meeting, County Manager Natalie Rountree suggested the idea – the Local Option Sales Tax, which is permitted by the state’s general statutes – in an effort to help the county generate additional revenue.

North Carolina’s sales tax is 4.75 percent. Each county statewide can add from 2.0 to 2.25 percent to the state levy. Gates County’s combined sales tax levy is currently 6.75 percent. The proposed addition of the local option sales tax will increase that rate to 7 percent.

“This is an option to help raise revenue for the county,” Rountree said. “(State) General Statute 105 allows the county to put out to a referendum (for the voters) for them to decide for or against at the rate of one-quarter of one percent in addition to all other local and state sales and use tax.”

She added that if approved, the added sales tax can be, “used for the day-to-day operations of the county, but we cannot stipulate exactly what the money will be used for.”

Rountree stated there is a potential of approximately $93,000 of additional annual revenue if the measure is approved by Gates County voters.

State and local sales tax do not apply to the sale of gas nor for unprepared foods.

The earliest it could be on the ballot is the 2020 Spring Primary.

“I’m not expecting any action today on this; it’s for your information only,” Rountree noted.

Gates County citizens who shop in Hertford, Halifax or Pasquotank counties are already paying an extra 0.25% in sales tax. Hertford has had the extra sales tax in place since their voters approved it in 2010; Halifax came onboard one year later, and Pasquotank added it in 2018. Bertie County plans to have it on their ballot next year.

“If our citizens visit and shop in a county that already has this supplemental sales tax in place, then they are paying that supplemental tax,” Rountree said.



About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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