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To the editor:
The referendum to increase the sales tax in Brunswick County addresses two entirely different issues. Most support money for schools in Brunswick County, but why would anyone support paying a greater sales tax for a handful of property owners who expect those of us who do not live on barrier islands to help pay to keep their beaches from eroding away?
Homeowners on barrier islands must deal with this simple fact: renourished sand just washes away again with the next big storm or hurricane. Beach renourishment is just like taking hundreds of thousands of dollars and just throwing them in the ocean. If you choose to have homes on these unstable islands, don’t ask for the rest of us to pay for your chosen risks.
Most North Carolina coastal scientists say trying to stop the eroding of the eastern end of Ocean Isle, for example, will create erosion on down-drift beaches — specifically the western half of Ocean Isle, all of Sunset Beach and all of the Bird Island Conservation Reserve.
If this proposal passes because it is bundled together with something most people here do support — schools — with something few people support — a handful of people who choose to build in harm’s way and may not even live here — I will be doing my shopping in neighboring counties.
The county should have the vote on the increased sales tax to fund school projects and terminal groin projects separated on the ballot so we can vote “yes” or “no” separately.