Commissioners looking into tax relief for property owners

Published 3:49 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2007

By Staff
Want ‘reasonable rate’ for longtime residents
News Editor
Beaufort County commissioners will seek tax relief for longtime property owners here, potentially by “tacking onto” a bill that could include other coastal counties.
Commissioners decided this month to consider adding Beaufort County to a bill that could include Brunswick and Onslow counties. That bill would give property-tax breaks to longtime residents of the three coastal counties.
Deatherage’s original proposal was targeted toward residents who own waterfront property. But Commissioner Ed Booth said relief should apply to any longtime property owner — even if his or her property isn’t near the water.
The other commissioners were amenable to that idea.
The tax ceiling would be available to residents who have owned land here for at least 25 years. The break might be limited to apply to no more than two acres, per commissioners’ discussion.
Commissioners’ Chairman Jay McRoy was concerned about letting the limit apply to too much land.
If longtime residents decided to sell the lesser-taxed land, the county could go back 10 years and recoup its actual tax value, per the proposal Deatherage discussed.