Veterans bill could cost Fayetteville millions
Posted February 1
Fayetteville, N.C. — 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.