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March 23, 2023 2:58 am

Sales tax increase on Wayne County ballot

WAYNE COUNTY — Voters in Wayne County will decide during the 2022 general election how they want to fund services such as the sheriff’s office, EMS, department of social services, health department, all library branches, the senior center and aging services, veterans’ services, landfill and convenience centers and school safety and other improvements.

Sales tax revenue allows the county commissioners to lessen the burden on property taxes. This sales tax referendum excludes gas, prescription medication and non-prepared foods or groceries. Remember, sales tax applies to everyone, not just property owners. When you visit other counties and spend money, you’re already paying this increased sales tax. Duplin, Sampson, Wake and Orange all collect 7 percent or more.

The increase would amount to 1 cent on a $4 purchase, 25 cents on a $100 purchase and $1 on a $400 purchase.

A vote for the local sales and use tax increases the sales tax rate from 6.75 percent to 7 percent and shares the tax burden across anyone purchasing goods (excluding gas, prescription medication and non-prepared foods or groceries) in Wayne County, increases the level of services Wayne County is able to provide, allows the board of commissioners to possibly lower property tax rates and would generate about $2.8 million per year for Wayne County. This sales tax would raise the equivalent of a 3-cent property tax increase.

A vote against the increase would keep the sales tax rate at 6.75 percent, mean no changes in the level of service in Wayne County and could mean a property tax increase in coming years to fund existing services. A 1-cent increase in the property tax generates $900,000.

— From the Wayne County web site