The letter below appeared in the Letters to the Editor section of the February 18, 2016 edition of the Davie County Enterprise and is republished below with permission. Please click here for a printable copy of the original document.
The Town Councils of Bermuda Run, Cooleemee and Mocksville are strongly opposed to the County’s proposal to change the method of sales tax distribution from the Per Capita to the Ad Valorem method.
- The change would take money away from the Towns and give it to the County. Mocksville would lose $377,000 (22% of its budget), Bermuda Run, $273,000 (28% of its budget), and Cooleemee, $150,000 (35% of its budget). The three towns would have to raise taxes significantly or reduce essential services.
- The change will harm economic development initiatives. A majority of the largest taxpaying companies are located in the Towns where there is commercial activity. An additional tax in the Towns would threaten the success of our economic development program, which has created new jobs and reduced the pressure to raise taxes.
- The change is driving a wedge within the County. The Towns are part of Davie County, and each citizen in the Towns pays the same tax rate as a citizen in the unincorporated areas of the County. Plus, Town citizens pay an additional tax that pays for their core government services.
The facts lead to three questions:
- Is it fair and equitable to shift the burden of the County’s financial problems to the citizens of the Towns? The County is asking that the Towns, which make up 20 percent of the County’s population, shoulder 100 percent of the burden of the County’s financial challenges. The County is asking the Towns to bail them out.
- The current Per Capita distribution method has been in effect in Davie County for 40 years. Out of the blue, the County wants to change it. Why and why now?
- Why is the County not willing to discuss the financial dilemma openly with the Towns to find a more equitable solution? Davie County is one economic unit, and we will rise or fall together. The people of Davie attend the same schools, shop in the same stores, worship in the same churches, and likely will be buried in the same cemeteries. Surely, we can come together to make the best decisions on a sales tax issue.
Town of Bermuda Run Town of Cooleemee Town of Mocksville
Kenneth A. Rethmeier Steven D. Corriher William J. Marklin III
Mayor Mayor Mayor