Local News

Roanoke Rapids May Decide To Cut Taxes

Posted May 27, 2004 4:45 a.m. EDT

— Leaders across the state are struggling to balance their budgets. While many are grappling with proposals that either hold the line on spending or raise taxes, one city may actually cut taxes.

Encouraging growth Roanoke Rapids, a town devastated by textile mill closings, is beginning to payoff. Workers are preparing a site for three new businesses, which will bring in 100 jobs. A new home improvement center just opened across the street, adding another 100 jobs.

"This council's philosophy is growth," Roanoke Rapids Mayor D.N. Beale said.

Roanoke Rapids property owners will get their first dividend from a growing tax base. July will bring a 1-cent cut in the property tax rate.

"We felt like it was time with the growth coming in, say to the citizens, 'Look, it's time to share back with you some of the money," Beale said.

The 1-cent cut in the property tax rate will mean a $10 savings on property worth $100,000. Homeowner Christine Tripp is happy to see something come down.

"I think it's great that taxes are going down since the gas prices are going up so high," she said. "I think it's a great thing, good for the homeowners and all."

Growth may be a double-edged sword for Roanoke Rapids. The town's main business district used to be shared between uptown and downtown. Now, the majority of new businesses have located closer to Interstate 95 and away from downtown.

"We haven't forgot any section of town," Beale said.

Beale said the tax cut was five years in the making and he is not done cutting taxes or city expenses to hold down costs.