Kill Devil Hills Supports No Change In Occupancy Tax Distribution

Posted By on March 18, 2015

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The Town of Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners has released a public statement officially opposing possible changes in occupancy tax distribution that were recently proposed by North Carolina Senator Bill Cook. You can read the full statement below, including how you can contact Cook to voice your opposition.

State Senator Bill Cook recently co-sponsored Senate Bill 160 in the North Carolina General Assembly.  This bill contains a provision that could potentially change the distribution of the 6% occupancy tax revenues.  Occupancy tax revenues are generated from gross receipts of the rental of any room, lodging, campsite, or similar accommodation, including private residences and cottages, rented to visitors. 

Currently, 3% is shared by the County of Dare and each of the Dare County municipalities; 1% helps fund the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau; and, 2% is dedicated for beach nourishment. 

            If SB 160 is passed by the General Assembly as originally drafted, the Dare County Board of Commissioners will have the authority to change the current occupancy tax distribution and contribute occupancy tax funds to the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Lake Maintenance Fund.  These monies would then be used to supplement the costs associated with dredging shallow draft channels such as the Oregon Inlet.  

            The municipal governments in Dare County use their portion of the occupancy tax to supplement annual budgets, providing vital public services.  Any changes to the occupancy tax distribution could affect local budgeting and service delivery.  For example, the Town of Kill Devil Hills received over $2 million in fiscal year 2013-2014.  

The Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners recognizes the vital importance of keeping Oregon Inlet open for commercial and recreational watermen; however, as Mayor Sheila Davies explained in a letterto Senator Cook, occupancy tax revenues are already dedicated for tourism and beach nourishment purposes.  Mayor Davies asked that future dredging costs be assumed by the State and Federal governments, and Senator Cook was asked to work towards that solution.  

            Senator Cook advised Dare County Manager Bobby Outten that the occupancy tax language would be removed once the bill was assigned to a House committee.  To make sure the importance of this matter is adequately communicated, the Board of Commissioners at its meeting on Monday, March 9, 2015, urged the citizens of Kill Devil Hills to contact Senator Cook and ask that Section 3.3 Additional use of Occupancy Taxes be removed from the bill.  

[Editor’s Note: Bill Cook also did not support renewing North Carolina’s highly successful Film Incentive program, without which the state’s once booming film production industry of more than 4,000 workers is now unemployed.]

CONTACT BILL COOK:

Senator Bill Cook 
North Carolina Senate 
300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 525
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
919-715-8293
e-mail:  Bill.Cook@ncleg.net

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Posted by Matt Artz

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