Chocowinity residents to see EMS tax increase

Published 7:53 pm Friday, June 30, 2017


CHOCOWINITY — The Town of Chocowinity’s $2.5 million 2017-18 budget goes into effect today, an increase from last year’s $2.2 million budget.

The budget, based off of a property tax of $0.49 per $100 valuation, totals to about $2.5 million. Chocowinity Mayor James Mobley said he thinks this year’s budget does a good job of making sure everybody gets what’s needed.

“It’s a pretty good-sized budget for the town. With all the services that we provide, I feel like they get their money’s worth,” Mobley said.

“Our town tax rate did not go up. But the county is now charging everybody 5 cents across the board for EMS, so the total went up 1.5 cents. Chocowinity gets a lot of calls a year for EMS. Some departments don’t have a lot. It’s just to keep it uniform,” Mobley said.

The increased EMS tax rate is part of the county’s efforts to provide EMS coverage for each municipality in Beaufort County.

During last year’s budget negotiations, Beaufort County commissioners discussed raising the EMS tax in each town to 5 cents per $100 valuation of property with a goal of uniformity across the county. Over the years, EMS tax district rates have varied widely — from 1.3 cents per $100 in Bath to 5 cents in Pantego.

With the exception of Longacre Township, which dispenses part of its share of tax money to Pinetown and part to Broad Creek, every EMS tax district is now 5 cents.

In Chocowinity, the rate means a 1.5-cent jump from its previous EMS tax rate of 3.5 cents.

Mobley said the 1.5-cent jump won’t have too many adverse effects on residents and the town’s operations.

“As far as affecting us, it does and it doesn’t. We’ve been able to keep the water and sewer rates and most things the same. Nothing changed drastically,” Mobley said.

He also said that since he became the mayor of Chocowinity in 1996, he has only the seen the tax rate increase one time.  When the board is proposing the budget, it always tries to keep the residents of Chocowinity in mind, he said.

“We treat our budget like it is one of our own. We are pretty frugal, pretty conservative,” Mobley said.