Carolina Shores favors letter to county opposing tax change

-A A +A
By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CAROLINA SHORES — Like neighboring towns, the town of Carolina Shores is poised to pen a letter voicing its objection to changing the way sales tax revenues are distributed in Brunswick County.

At their monthly workshop Monday, Carolina Shores commissioners informally agreed they want to firm up details on how to express that objection at their monthly meeting this Thursday, Dec. 5.

The town board also wants to get word out before the next Brunswick County Tax Committee meeting, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

The county is considering a proposal to change revenue distribution to the county’s 19 municipalities from a per capita formula to an ad valorem formula. The change would benefit a handful of municipalities like Bald Head Island, but most would stand to lose revenue.

Carolina Shores acting interim town administrator Julie Munday noted in her monthly report the neighboring town of Calabash has distributed a letter to residents urging them to contact county commissioners to leave the sales-tax distribution method the way it is.

Carolina Shores Mayor Walter Goodenough said towns opposing the change are looking at buying a full-page ad. He also suggested doing a mass mailing for residents.

“A whole bunch of people don’t understand if this goes through, you can lock those doors and (expect) double or triple taxes to maintain what we have right now,” he said.

Town commissioner Joyce Dunn said the town could reach 75 percent of residents via email.

“If we could put our own number in there, ‘here’s how much we would lose,’” Dunn said.

The town will have to make up that loss either by finding a way to increase revenue or cutting services, she said. “That’s what we need to spell out. There will be a big deficit we’d have to deal with.”

Town commissioner Bill Brennan offered to come up with wording.

“The wording needs to be very clear — contact your commissioners before this date,” Dunn said.

Town commissioners also discussed contacting their county representative, Brunswick County Board of Commissioners Chairman Phil Norris.

“We need to speak with Phil directly,” Dunn said, adding they need to tell him “you represent us, the town. We’d like you to vote in a way that does not damage the town as a community.”


Ham radio

The town board also heard from longtime ham radio operator Jim Capicotto of Calabash, who outlined a possibility of using volunteers to supplement emergency radio communications.

Capicotto said he has been a ham radio operator for the last 50 years, including involvement with the Navy. Since moving to the area three years ago, he said he was surprised to find there are no emergency communications using ham radio locally.

He cited the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), a group of licensed ham radio amateurs who could help “supplement what you already have.”

“It’s not just equipment getting set up — you need volunteers,” Capicotto said, adding there are probably a number of ham operators in the area already.

He also cited a recent meeting in Wilmington for Skywarn, a National Weather Service program consisting of trained volunteer weather spotters.

“You don’t have to be a ham — you can just be a local observer,” he said, adding participants report to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio in Wilmington.


Board changes

As the town prepares to swear in newly elected town commissioner John Manning and incumbent Greg Davis, it will need to replace Manning’s seat on the town planning board.

Goodenough recommended planning board alternate member Kathryn Powell.

Dunn said she has someone in mind to serve as alternate. Goodenough asked that town staff contact planning board members and start a procedure for searching and taking resumes for applicants. He said a couple of names of interested people are being tossed about.

Goodenough thanked Dunn, who did not seek re-election this year, for being a great inspiration. Fellow commissioners John Russo and Brennan were complimentary as well. The other two town board members, Davis and Joseph Przywara, were absent from Monday’s workshop.

“We disagree respectfully,” Goodenough said. “It’s been a good four years.”

Dunn said town staff has also had the freedom to do what it’s good at.

“It’s been wonderful for all,” she said. “We ‘Dunn Goodenough.’ ”


Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.