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Some Say "Don't Turn Off Tax Flow"

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WILSON — If you found out you'd pay less in taxes next year, you'd be glad, right?

That's not the case in some counties.

Taxpayers in the eastern part of North Carolina are about to pay their final extra fee to the Global Transpark. But some county leaders want the fee to continue.

That's because the fee has funded infra-structure items, such as a water tank for Wilson. One million gallons of fresh water that's luring corporations and jobs to Wilson County.

"Water pressure in that portion of the county is significantly lower than it is in other portions of the county. So, it was a very critical piece of infra-structure," says Jennifer Lantz of Wilson County Development.

Wilson County taxpayers bought the tank using that extra $5 per year tax on license tags in this part of the state. Wayne, Nash and Edgecombe counties pay the same amount.

For five years, counties have used the money to build up their business infra-structure. Now the flow of money may be about to be shut off.

"It was given a sunset, which would be five years from that time, and that will end on June 30 of 1999, says GTP spokesperson Sylvia Nesbitt.

Transpark leaders say they've paid out half a million dollars more than the counties have paid in. The plan was working so well that many development groups, including Wilson's, want it to continue.

To continue the assessment, county officials would have to contact their legislators, and then it would be up to the General Assembly to determine what type of program to enact.

With the deadline just five months away, lawmakers will have to decide soon whether the tax is worth renewing.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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