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Originally published: 2013-04-10 10:29:30
Last modified: 2013-04-12 09:13:02

Towns pass resolutions supporting tax change

The town councils of Beech Mountain, Blowing Rock and Seven Devils unanimously passed resolutions Tuesday supporting the county's proposal to change the sales tax distribution method.


They also agreed to keep only 40 percent of the increased revenue they will receive if the switch occurs, giving the other 60 percent to Watauga County to prevent it from losing money as a result of the change.


The Watauga County Board of Commissioners now has until the end of April to decide whether it wants to switch the distribution method. If approved, the town of Boone would likely receive millions less next fiscal year.


Beech Mountain Town Manager Randy Feierabend said the council talked for only a few minutes about the proposal before approving it.


"It means a lot to us," he said. "It will help us a lot, and I think the council was appreciative."


In Blowing Rock, there also was no disagreement about the benefits to the town. Town Manager Scott Hildebran said he believed Blowing Rock would gain at least $200,000 from the switch.


Seven Devils Town Manager Ed Evans said the conversation also was brief among those board members.


"It means more money for the town, if it should go through, and with money being short supply, more money from any source is good," he said.


The Watauga County commissioners originally proposed the sales tax distribution change from a per capita method to an ad valorem method after the Boone Town Council adapted its multi-family housing ordinances. Commissioners fear the changes will jeopardize the sale of the 74-acre former Watauga High School property.