Three-cent tax increase proposed in Southampton

Published 9:53 am Monday, May 1, 2017

Southampton County residents could see a 3-cent an increase in their real estate tax, which would bring the existing rate of 82 cents per $100 to $85 cents per $100. The rate would apply to general real estate and public service corporations as well mobile homes.

Other rates, such as machinery and tools at $2.40 per $100, or farm machinery at $1.95 per $100, remain the same.

The county board of supervisors has scheduled a public hearing on Monday, May 15, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium of Southampton High School, 23350 Southampton Parkway, Courtland.

Ronnie West, vice chairman of the board, confirmed the proposal.

“If you paid for all you needed, it would be much more than 3 cents, which is not the end of the world,” said West. “It could be more like 10 cents or 12 cents more.”

He added that the 3-cent real estate tax increase would “only keep services ongoing.”

“We did the best we could to keep [existing] services,” said West, citing the sheriff’s office and schools as examples.

A stagnant growth rate and the lack of new businesses to generate revenue were cited as reasons for the need to propose a tax rate increase.

Also that evening, the proposed $58.87M county budget will be up for public comment at the same location.

Details of the sources of revenue and expenditures can be found in the notices of public hearings in today’s edition.