Emerald Tidings

October 2010

  1. Town Considering Elimination of Annual Solid Waste Fee and Corresponding Tax Rate Increase
  2. Take Advantage of One-Stop Voting!
  3. Beach Driving Season Underway
  4. Carteret County Moving Forward With 2011 Tax Revaluation
  5. Emergency Dispatch Function To Be Transferred to New Consolidated Carteret County E911 Center in January
  6. Beach House Raffle Raised More Than $18,000 for Coast Guard Road Bicycle Path Extension
  7. New Start Time for Town Board Meetings

Town Considering Elimination of Annual Solid Waste Fee and Corresponding Tax Rate Increase

The Board of Commissioners is currently considering the elimination of the annual $180 solid waste fee paid by all developed residential property owners on their annual tax bill, and would replace the revenues generated by the annual solid waste fee with a corresponding 2.8 cent tax rate increase (based on the current 2007 values).  If the Board decides to implement this strategy, it would occur in the FY 11-12 budget, and would impact tax bills mailed in late summer 2011.     The Board is considering this strategy because it will enable the Town to prevent the expected loss of $370,000 of annual sales tax revenue in future years simply by changing the way the Town finances its solid waste services.  Instead of charging an annual solid waste fee (that appears as a separate line on the annual property tax bill), solid waste services would instead be financed by property taxes.  Because of the way the sales tax distribution formula works, this would prevent the loss of sales tax revenues for the Town, and would enable the Town to avoid service reductions and/or a separate property tax rate increase.   A 2.8 cent property tax rate increase is certainly not desired by anyone, however, it is important to consider the elimination of the annual solid waste fee when evaluating this strategy.  This strategy will actually result in a net savings for most taxpayers, however, some will experience a net increase.  For example, with the elimination of the $180 annual solid waste fee, the owner of a developed residential property with a tax value of $500,000 would pay an additional $140 per year in property taxes, but would save $180 per year from the elimination of the annual solid waste fee, resulting in a net savings of $40 per year.  Conversely, the owner of a developed residential property valued at $1 million per year would pay an additional $280 per year in property taxes, but the annual solid waste fee ($180) would be eliminated, resulting in a net cost increase of $100.  All owners of a developed residential property valued at $645,000 or less would experience a net savings, while those with properties valued at $645,000 or more would experience a net additional cost.    The solid waste fee / property tax "conversion" would result in a net savings for 63% of developed residential property owners, while 37% would experience a net additional cost.  Owners of vacant lots and commercial properties do not currently pay the $180 annual solid waste fee, but would also be subject to the property tax increase, and thus would also experience a net additional cost.   The Board will discuss this issue again at their November 9 regular meeting, and is expected to make a decision at that time.  This issue is somewhat complex, and there is a very detailed explanation located at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/solid%20waste%20fee%20ptax%20switch-09142010.htm .    Questions or comments on this issue are encouraged, and can be directed to Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org .  All comments and questions will be forwarded to the Mayor and Commissioners for their consideration if received prior to November 7.   We can also provide an exact calculation of net savings or net additional cost for each property owner if requested.

Take Advantage of One-Stop Voting!

The Carteret County Board of Elections is again offering one-stop voting at the Western Park Community Center in Cedar Point.  Registered voters can vote for candidates for Federal, State, and County positions on weekdays between 8 am and 5 pm from Thursday, October 14 until Friday, October 29.  One-stop voting will also be offered on Saturday, October 30 from 8 am until 1 pm.   Election Day is Tuesday, November 2.  The Emerald Isle Community Center is the designated polling place for Emerald Isle registered voters.  Polls are open 6:30 am until 7:30 pm.

Beach Driving Season Underway

The fall beach driving season began on September 15 and will continue until April 30.  An annual permit is required, and can be purchased at the Town Administration Building during normal business hours.  Beach driving rules and a permit application can be viewed at http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/beachdrivingpage.htm .   Beach drivers are reminded to be safe and respectful of others enjoying the beach strand.  The speed limit is 20 mph, and the Police Department will aggressively enforce penalties for reckless driving on the beach strand.   Enjoy the great fall surf fishing in Emerald Isle!

Carteret County Moving Forward With 2011 Tax Revaluation

The Carteret County Tax Office is nearing completion of work associated with the 2011 tax revaluation, and expects to mail notices with new tax values to all property owners in January 2011.  The new tax values will be used by Carteret County and the Town to establish tax rates for FY 11-12 and the subsequent 3 fiscal years.  Carteret County is on a 4-year cycle for each tax revaluation. 

For the first time in anyone's memory, total tax values are expected to decrease.  After the 2001 tax revaluation, the total taxable value in Emerald Isle was approximately $1.35 billion.  After the 2007 tax revaluation, the total taxable value in Emerald Isle was approximately $4.25 billion.  The 2011 tax values are expected to decrease significantly to a total somewhere between the two previous totals.

With the expected decrease in total taxable value, the Town's property tax rate will likely increase, and the Mayor, Board, and Town staff will be working hard to keep the new tax rate as close to revenue-neutral as possible when the FY 11-12 budget is adopted in June 2011.

Emergency Dispatch Function To Be Transferred to New Consolidated Carteret County E911 Center in January 2011

Effective January 2011, emergency dispatch services will be provided by Carteret County dispatchers in the new, consolidated E911 center currently being constructed by the County in Morehead City. 

Carteret County has historically provided emergency dispatch services for all unincorporated areas of Carteret County and for 8 of the 11 incorporated muncipalities in the County.  Up until now, the towns of Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, and Emerald Isle had operated our own E911 dispatch centers (in the Police Department), however, all 3 towns will join the new consolidated County E911 center in January 2011.

The new County E911 center will result in a more coordinated E911 system, will enable the County and towns to realize overall budget savings over the long-term, and will allow for improved training of E911 dispatchers in the future.  The County will be implementing "emergency medical dispatch", an advanced dispatch service that provides medical information over the phone while emergency responders are en route to the scene.   

The Town plans to maintain a customer service presence at the Police Station for non-emergency inquiries during the evening and weekend hours after January 2011. 

Beach House Raffle Raised More than $18,000 for Coast Guard Road Bicycle Path Extension

Thanks to the generosity of several vacation rental home owners and vacation rental agencies, and the hard work of tthe Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and several volunteers, the recent Beach House Raffle generated approximately $18,000 for the future construction of additional bike path along Coast Guard Road.  The raffle was held on September 7, and nine lucky winners will be enjoying a free week at the beach this fall!  

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee continues its fundraising efforts, and the Town hopes to use these funds to construct a new segment of bike path along Coast Guard Road from Deer Horn Drive to Emerald Isle Woods Park prior to summer 2011.  The Town's ultimate goal is to extend the bike path along the entire length of Coast Guard Road to The Point.

New Start Time for Town Board Meetings

The Town Board of Commissioners conducts its regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month in the Town Board Meeting Room located adjacent to the Police Station at 7500 Emerald Drive.  All regular Town Board meetings now begin at 7:00 pm

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend all Town Board meetings.  Complete Town Board meeting agenda materials are posted online at www.emeraldisle-nc.org on the Friday evening prior to the Town Board meeting on the second Tuesday each month.

Frank A. Rush, Jr.
Town Manager
252-354-3424
frush@emeraldisle-nc.org
Posted by Frank Rush Friday, October 1, 2010 4:24:00 PM

Archives