Buncombe Commissioners pass quarter-cent sales-tax increase

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Dec. 6 to levy a quarter-cent sales-tax increase to fund capital improvements at A-B Tech.

After months of contentious debate, county voters endorsed the measure Nov. 8 by a narrow margin of 503 votes in a non-binding referendum. For the increase to take effect, Buncombe commissioners had to pass the resolution enacting it.

With that formality now done, the sales-tax on most purchases in the county will increase from 6.75 percent to 7 percent, starting April 1. The additional revenue is slated to go towards financing building projects at the community college.

In other actions, the board:

• Heard and voted unanimously to accept a “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report” on the state of the county government’s finances. Staff emphasized that the county has a AAA credit rating and the highest bond rating possible.

• Voted unanimously to help fund a pair of conservation easements that will preserve 120 acres in Upper Hominey and 35.5 acres in Sandy Mush. Commissioners agreed for the county to cover $41,000 in transaction costs.

• Voted unanimously to reappoint Bill Stanley as the its vice chair. This will be his fourth one-year term in the position, which is largely symbolic but requires the office holder to administer meetings when the board chair is absent. After serving on the Board of Commissioners for 23 years, Stanley recently said he plans to retire when his term expires next year.

• Denied a rezoning request that would have allowed for more development of an 8.58 acre parcel of land at 101 Farida Drive in the Weaverville area. The Planning Board had similarly recommended denying the request, writing that it’s not consistent with the Buncombe County Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Stanley cast the lone vote in favor of granting the request.

• Voted unanimously to designate the William Nelson Camp Jr. House — located at 92 Flat Top Mountain Road in Fairview — as a “historic landmark.”

Stay tuned for a more detailed report on the meeting in the Dec. 14 issue of Xpress.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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