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Veterans bill could cost Fayetteville millions

Posted February 1

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— The First Responder’s Bill, which would give tax breaks to the spouses of first responders killed on duty and some disabled veterans, is causing concerns in counties with large military populations.

The bill was presented by Wake County Rep. Nelson Dollar. It would eliminate property taxes for surviving spouses of first responders and for veterans with 100 percent disability. That part of the bill would cost Cumberland County more than $4 million.

Many people think it's a good idea to give the tax break to those who have sacrificed so much for the country, but critics believe the sponsors of the bill didn't take into consideration the financial burden it would place on communities with large military populations like Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune.

Onslow County has more than 2,000 disabled veterans who would qualify for the benefit, costing the county $1.6 million in lost tax revenue.

In Cumberland County, more than 3,700 would qualify for the exemption at a tune of more than $4 million. County leaders aren't sure how they would replace that money.

“But when it’s concentrated so hard on the areas so that have such a high veteran population, it does cost money. And I don’t see a way right now to replace that other than by cutting services or raising taxes and neither of which is a palatable option for Cumberland County,” said Marsall Faircloth, Cumberland County Commissioner.

Faircloth says if the county had to absorb to loss without state help… other home owners could see a one to 2 ½ cents per hundred dollar valuation tax increase or taxes in some other area could go up.

The bill has been introduced and is now in the State and Local Government 2 committee for consideration.

6 Comments

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  • Heather Spillman Mar 28, 2:11 p.m.
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    I think they deserve the tax break but the article said because local law enforcement/EMS/Firefighters are considered county employees that the funds to recover revenue losses should come from the county (which most don't have the money to cover this) but the veterans are considered federal employees so why wouldn't the federal government cover the revenue losses for them?

  • Sara Hauser Feb 3, 4:21 p.m.
    user avatar

    Well said, Betsey!!!

  • Ileana Bryan Feb 2, 9:13 a.m.
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    I'd rather foot that bill all day, every day than pay for some of those who mooch off our tax dollars (ie: food stamps, etc.) while sitting at home doing nothing.

  • Henry White Feb 2, 8:04 a.m.
    user avatar

    Americans first

  • Carrie Hurrelbrink Feb 2, 5:33 a.m.
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    They deserve it! If you can pay for all of these immigrants and illegals then you can help out people.

  • Betsey Duggins Feb 1, 10:40 p.m.
    user avatar

    Small price to pay considering the sacrifices they have given us for our freedom. Enough said.