New Tax Bills Include Revenue, Spending Info


July 27, 2017

Jessica McCall, the county’s tax administrator, presented the tax settlement for the 2016 tax year to the Board of Commissioners Monday during its regular meeting.

McCall’s office reported a 99.82 percent collection rate, one of the highest in the state.

The total tax levy for the county is roughly $27.7 million. Uncollected 2016 taxes, as of June 30, totaled roughly $50,800.

In a news release Tuesday, commissioners said the tax office’s achievement is a testament to its work and that of the taxpayers.

“This is you (citizens) paying your tax obligations. Sometimes it is not easy, but staff works out payment arrangements when circumstances arise, so thanks to the citizens,” Commissioner Jason Chappell said.

At Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Mike Hawkins called the tax office’s performance as “remarkable,” noting the ultimate saving to the taxpayer.

“The tax office staff put in extra effort to get our tax collection rate above the state average by making phone calls and working with our citizens on ways to make sure their taxes are paid,” Hawkins said. “Those few extra percentages on the collection rate mean a tax savings to our citizens at over a penny in revenue that is needed to operate services.”

New tax bills were mailed Tuesday to kick off the 2017 collections.

Commissioners directed County Manager Jaime Laughter to include revenue and expenditure charts (see page 12A) in the tax bill mailings to help answer the frequently asked question of what tax dollars go to in the county, according to the press release.

“Citizens will find two charts. One shows the revenues the county receives,” Laughter said. “The ad valorem category covers property tax collections, showing that these collections will make up 56.9 percent of the revenue received by the county in the budget year that began on July 1.

“There is also a chart that shows expenditures by function, so that citizens can see how the county budget utilizes the revenue received from property tax and other collections as well.”

The charts, the release said, help give citizens a sense of how tax dollars are spent, but they are only reflective of the portion of the bill for county taxes.

The portion for fire districts, city or town purposes is not accounted for on the charts.

For additional information on what the charts mean, go to http://www.transylva

In other action at Monday’s meeting:

•Cjon Conley, a 15-year-old Brevard High School student, was recognized as the local Youth Voice Delegate to the upcoming N.C. Association of County Commissioners Annual Conference.

Youth Voice includes delegates from 4-H Youth Development, such as Conley, or Boys & Girls clubs.

During the Youth Voice sessions, attendees learn about what county government does and the role of commissioners.

•Commissioners recognized members of the county’s various Citizen Advisory Councils who are stepping down.

They included Claudia Hawkins, who served 15 years on the Board of Equalization & Review; Betty Sherrill, who served for six years on the Joint Historic Preservation, and Lauren Wise, who served nearly three years with the group; Gay Phillips, who served nearly 18 years on the Jury Commission; Jan Plemmons, who served on the Parks and Recreation Commission; Maureen Copelof and Kris Hovey, who both served three years on the Planning Board/Board of Adjustment; and Craig Burghardt, who served five years, and Mac Morrow, a Brevard City Councilman, who served 12 years, on the Transportation Advisory Committee.

•The Calvert Solid Waste Convenience site will operate on new hours starting Aug. 1: 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

•In her report, County Manager Jaime Laughter gave an update on preparations for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

The county landfill will be closed because it sits in the direct path of the eclipse and to discourage the public from using the site to view the eclipse.

The county is also considering temporarily closing county offices that day. The county will not run its county transportation services that day, but any food distribution services will be done ahead of time.

•Commissioners cancelled their regular Aug. 28 meeting.


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