01/14/08 — Wayne Commission will look at sales tax hike plan

View Archive

Wayne Commission will look at sales tax hike plan

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on January 14, 2008 2:22 PM

A potential quarter-cent sales tax referendum will be on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners' agenda Tuesday morning as members look for ways to raise revenues for the myriad of capital projects they have coming up in the next few years.

If given the go-ahead by the commissioners, the local option sales tax will be on the May 6 primary ballot.

It was offered to the counties as part of the state General Assembly's Medicaid relief package last summer, in exchange for the return of a half-cent sales tax the state said it needed to help pay for the added expense of the federal health care program.

And, while the county commission has yet to formally say how the money will be spent, several members have indicated the potential $2.5 million (according to the N.C. Association of County Commissioners) would likely be targeted toward capital projects such as the schools, the jail and other county construction needs.

Also on the agenda is a $100,000 incentive package for AT&T, which recently announced the creation of 350 new jobs at a broadband technical support call center in Goldsboro.

A public hearing on the package will be held at 9:15 a.m.

If approved, AT&T would receive $75,000 in cash, plus an additional $25,000 over a three-year period based on its property taxes paid. All incentives are contingent upon job creation.

The Wayne County Develop-ment Alliance and the City of Goldsboro have also approved $100,000 incentive plans, as has the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center.

AT&T is expected to begin operations sometime in the second quarter of the year.

Other items to be discussed Tuesday include the commission's Feb. 13 retreat at Goldsboro Country Club, and the continued funding for the county's court liaison -- a position created in August and overseen by Superior Court Judge Jerry Braswell.

The position, currently being filled by Corin Craft through temporary staffing agency Mega Force Staffing Services, is intended to help reduce the jail population and to work with court-appointed attorneys -- managing the volume of inmate mail, keeping a list of court-appointed attorney visits with jail-bound clients and checking out other charges inmates might be facing.

So far, position has cost $26,000. Another $20,000 will be needed to extend it to the end of the fiscal year.