LEE COUNTY: Commissioners will consider various economic matters

Apr. 14, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

The sales tax distribution method, economic incentives and the county's economic alignment are all slated for the Lee County Board of Commissioners's Monday meeting.

With several items on the agenda, the meeting will begin earlier than normal at 4:30 p.m. at the Lee County Government Center, located at 116 Hillcrest Drive. 

Among the items on the agenda:

What: Resolution to change the sales tax distribution method.

Why it matters: Changing the sales tax distribution method from the current per capita method to ad valorem would boost the county's revenue by $1.4 million, but cause a drop of $1.3 million and $100,000 to the city of Sanford and town of Broadway, respectively. Commissioners Charlie Parks, Kirk Smith, Andre Knecht and Jim Womack have signaled their intent to change the sales tax method during the upcoming meeting with Commissioners Amy Dalrymple, Ricky Frazier and Robert Reives dissenting. City and town leaders have expressed their concern about the change, which they say will force essential cuts or raised taxes on city and town residents. The four commissioners who wish to change the sales tax method said they plan to lower the property tax rate with the money saved by the county.

What: Resolution in opposition to Senate Bill 127

Why it matters: Lee County Commissioners have reworked a resolution stating their opposition to a proposed law that would change Lee County's economic region from Raleigh to Charlotte. After discussions by commissioners, the resolution states that Lee County's natural and economic partners are in Raleigh, as opposed to Charlotte. According to the resolution, "Lee County is concerned that the draft map removes the long-standing, regional partnerships the county currently has in the Research Triangle Region and the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance."

What: Consider the final draft of economic incentives guidelines

Why it matters: After several drafts and input from various business and county organizations, commissioners are set to review the final draft of the economic incentives guidelines. The guidelines state: no incentive will be considered for a new or existing business unless Lee County is competing with a jurisdiction outside North Carolina, the new business must create and maintain a minimum of 25 new jobs in Lee County and a new business must create at least $20 million in new investment in the county to be considered for an incentive, among other items. 

What: Request to restore the commissioner meeting schedule to 6 p.m. and add additional meetings during April and May.

Why it matters: Commissioners voted to change the meeting time from 6 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the April, May and June meetings. Commissioner Kirk Smith requested they be changed back, according to the agenda.