Vice Chair of the Currituck County Commissioners David Griggs speaking at Monday press conference.

At Brindley Beach Vacations we generally try to stay out of political haggling, but the budget proposal the NC Senate just passed could have far reaching effects on Outer Banks homeowner, business owners, residents and visitors—in short, anyone who cares about the Outer Banks. If included in the final budget, all of those effects will be negative.

The proposal contained in the Senate version of the budget would redistribute sales tax to counties based solely on population. It’s a little more complex than that, but the Cliff Notes version sums up the intent and effect of what is being presented.

By far, the two counties that would take the largest hit as a percentage of their budgets are Dare and Currituck. 

Estimates put the loss to Currituck County at $2-2.5 million. 

The loss to Dare County is thought to be 10-12%, somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-15 million. Speaking at a Monday press conference held in Manteo, Dare County Chair Bob Woodard noted, “As every homeowner or business owner knows, suffering a 10% reduction in revenue, would be a crippling to their personal budget as well as crippling to their business budget.”

The only way that egregious amount of budget funds could be made up is through an increase in ad valorem taxes—a significant increase in ad valorem tax.

The problem is, the permanent populations of the counties are 24,000 for Currituck and 35,000 for Dare, but they must maintain public services—fire, police, EMS—for a visitor population of 4,000,000 annually.

“Southern hospitality doesn’t come cheap,” Vice Chair of the Currituck County Commissioners David Griggs said during the press conference. 

At this point the Senate budget and House version must be reconciled. The House version does not include the redistribution provision, and Dare County Representative Paul Tine is the co-chair of the committee that is reconciling the two version. Governor McCrory has indicated he will veto any bill that contains the redistribution mandate.