Topsail Advertiser
  • N. Topsail Beach approves tax, fee hikes

  • Tax and fee hikes will take effect July 1 in North Topsail Beach after the town’s Board of Alderman unanimously approved next year’s budget, according to information from the town.
  • NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH | Tax and fee hikes will take effect July 1 in North Topsail Beach after the town’s Board of Alderman unanimously approved next year’s budget, according to information from the town.
    The 4.7-percent property tax hike will drive up the current rate of 37.55 cents to 39.32 cents per $100 of assessed value, according to the budget proposal by Town Manager Stuart Turille. The board approved the budget at its June 5 meeting.
    At the current rate, taxes on a $375,000 property would cost about $1,408.125. After July 1, property taxes would be $1,474.50 for that same property.
    Turille told The Daily News on Tuesday that the majority of the town’s properties would not be affected by the new rate due to a lower property value assessed in the recent Onslow County revaluation.
    “For 73 percent of our property owners, the tax they’ll pay should stay the same or change very little,” Turille said.
    He said the revaluation’s results were surprising.
    “It was a drop from 2010 to 2014,” Turille said. “And 2010 was the height of the recession.”
    The budget — the amount the town intends to spend from July 1 to June 30, 2015 — will grow about 1.1 percent over last year’s.
    The Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget of $3.54 million includes nearly $1 million to spend on the police department; about $700,000 on the town’s fire department; and roughly $430,000 on town administration, among other expenditures.
    For example, the town’s sanitation services decreased $467,672 to $384,988 after some homeowner’s associations discontinued contracts, according to Turille’s proposed budget.
    The town charges a per-household fee for curbside pickup even to residents in condos or other collectives with a large, on-site trash container. The monthly household fee for that curbside service will rise from $12.66 to $13.34 after July 1.
    “The town doesn’t make a dime off of fees,” Turille said on Tuesday. “It simply recovers our costs.”
    Trash and recycling pickup also will become weekly year-round, “rather than just peak season,” Turille wrote in the budget proposal.
    The town’s projected capital improvements include two, four-wheel-driven 2015 Ford Explorers for the police department to replace the 2007-2008 models in place. The new vehicles, are “needed for versatility on and off-road,” Turille wrote in the budget proposal. The price listed in the proposal for the vehicles and relevant equipment is $76,020.
    In addition, the new budget includes a new driving simulator for defensive and emergency driving for the police department; that price is listed as $36,000.
    Capital improvements also will include two planned parking lot expansions on town-owned property at the north end, which will add up to 50 spaces, and the Town Park-South End lot, which will add up to 100 spaces, according to documents from a town meeting in March.
    The estimated final costs for the town for the North End lot is $61,580; and the Town Park-South End lot’s final cost is $20,250, according to the document from the March meeting.
    Page 2 of 2 - The town’s Beach Fund is dedicated to managing the shoreline. That is the town’s dominant capital improvement and funding is appropriated for the fifth phase of beach nourishment. The estimated cost of that phase is $17,171,602. The project’s cost is financed from the accommodations tax, property tax and county sales tax.
    “That’s the biggest capital improvement,” Turille said of beach protection. “The beach is our primary infrastructure, our biggest physical asset. It is recorded as such by the auditor. It’s no different that roads, water and sewer infrastructure — it needs to be maintained and protected.”
    The town’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 9 at town hall at 2008 Loggerhead Court.
    Call 910-328-1349 for more information.
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