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Haywood pushes legislative agenda

Creation of a one-half cent local option sales tax to support building needs at Haywood Community College and tax relief from spiraling property values are among the issues Haywood County commissioners are urging legislators to address when the North Carolina General Assembly convenes in January 2007.


Chairman Larry Ammons and Commissioner Mary Ann Enloe, along with County Manager David Cotton and County Attorney Chip Killian, recently met with Senator-elect Joe Sam Queen and Rep. Ray Rapp to urge their support for these and several other goals during the next session of the General Assembly.

“They were very receptive to the issues we presented,” said Ammons. “We are fortunate to have experienced legislators who know how to get things done in Raleigh for our citizens.”

Goals discussed with the legislators included:

• Creation of a one-half cent local option sales tax to help fund a $14.5 million capital needs plan for Haywood Community College. The plan will help fund construction or renovation of several facilities, including the Regional Child Development Center, Professional Crafts Center, Technical Education Center, and Emergency Services Training Center.

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• Help with identification of revenue streams other than ad valorem taxes.

• Support for amending Haywood County’s occupancy tax law in accordance with recommendations approved in November and assistance in helping get the legislation passed.

• Assistance in restoring the historic courtroom in the Haywood County Courthouse to its original state, for use by the board of commissioners and other community groups.

Enloe said that Queen and Rapp were very receptive to helping commissioners work on these goals.

“I was extremely comfortable with the meeting,” Enloe said. “Our legislative delegation is very approachable and they have an excellent understanding of what is important to the people of Haywood County.”

“We have requested by resolution that the half-cent sales tax issue go on the ballot, probably in November, because there is a municipal election then and it wouldn’t require a special election,” Enloe said.

“With the TDA legislation, they have agreed to work with the legislative bill drafting department and the county attorney on the language of the legislation.”

Enloe said the legislators expressed some concern as to whether a recommendation that 1 percent of an occupancy tax increase go to support recreation was inside the parameters of the legislation.

The General Assembly is scheduled to convene at noon on Jan. 24.

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