Commissioners support sales tax hike

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The Mount Olive Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution endorsing the proposed quarter-cent sales tax issue that will be on the ballot during the March 3 primary election of local county offices.

Wayne County Manager Craig Honeycutt told board members in addressing the issue at the Jan. 6 meeting the quarter-cent hike will generate an estimated $2.6 million that will be used for school capital improvement needs.

He also said there have been questions about using education lottery money.

Honeycutt said that money is already obligated for years to come.

“What we are trying to do is find another pot,” he said.

The current local sales tax is 6 and three-quarter cents. The hike would actually mean spenders will pay an additional 25 cents on every $100 spent.

Commissioners also approved a budget amendment for water and sewer funds to add $5.5 million in grant funds in the pot for wastewater treatment plant improvements.

The action authorizes and directs Finance Officer/Town Clerk Kay Anderson to actually set up a new budget for the multi-million dollar project being funded through disaster recovery funds.

Another budget amendment authorized the same action: a separate budget to be set up for the $547,000 repair of the lagoon liner at the wastewater treatment plant. That project is financed through FEMA to repair damage caused by Hurricane Florence.

Other board action on a light agenda included the adoption of monthly meeting dates for 2020: Feb. 3, March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1, July 13, Aug. 3, Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Nov. 2 and Dec. 2.

A number of special board meetings have already been set for this month after the first special session was held on Friday. The other special meetings are set for Jan. 18 and Jan. 24.

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