Wayne County’s sales tax will increase a half cent on Monday when a capital improvement tax that voters approved in April takes effect. The money generated from the new tax will be used to finance courthouse improvements and help fund local government. The new tax will be collected for a six-year period.
People making purchases in the unincorporated areas of Wayne County will pay 5.725 percent sales tax. Greenville will have a 7.725 percent rate. Mill Spring’s tax rate will be 6.725 percent; the rate in Williamsville will be 7.225 percent, and Piedmont’s will be 8.225 percent. The tax also applies to the sale of domestic utilities.
If you have questions about the new tax, you should contact the Department of Revenue. County Clerk Alan Lutes said that his office might be able to answer questions, but there is no guarantee. If someone calls his office with questions, he will more than likely have to contact the state for answers.
Beginning next year, the General Revenue Property Tax levy will be eliminated. This is to reward local property owners. Presiding Commissioner Brian Polk also pointed out that the majority of sales tax revenue comes from people who live outside of Wayne County.
“Fifty-five percent of all taxable sales in Wayne County are made by non-residents shopping here,” Polk said. “This is a win-win for county residents. We will generate some much needed revenue for Wayne County, be able to make improvements to the courthouse, and give area residents a tax break.”
The county currently generates about $195,000 annually from its General Revenue tax levy. A one-half-cent sales tax will generate $400,000 to $420,000. Polk said that sales tax revenue from 2012 shows that revenue estimates are on track. Polk said the county will not receive any revenue from the new tax until sometime in December.
County officials are making plans for the new money. A new roof is planned for the courthouse. Other planned courthouse improvements are energy efficient windows.
“This will give us a surplus of about $200,000,” Polk said. “We plan to earmark half of that surplus to courthouse repairs. The remaining money will be used for General Revenue expenses to fund every day government activities, improve law enforcement, and to fund University Extension.”
Polk said county government is operating with less revenue than in the past. He said this does not count inflation.