Wednesday, June 4, City Council members travel to Raleigh to lobby state lawmakers
On Wednesday, June 4, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and Council member Earl Sheridan will travel to Raleigh to take part in the statewide Town Hall Day when local government leaders lobby state lawmakers about legislative issues facing their cities.
In addition, Mayor Saffo will speak at a press conference being held by local State Representative Susi Hamilton to discuss the importance of the state film incentive, which is set to expire this year unless the General Assembly takes action. The press conference will be held at 10 a.m. at the Legislative Building Press Room.
Keeping the film incentive is one of several items on the City of Wilmington’s State Legislative Agenda, which can be found here
. Another issue of concern is the local impact of changes signed into state law last week that repeal city governments’ authority to charge businesses privilege license taxes.
Although cities can charge the tax this year, with certain restrictions, Wilmington’s unique billing cycle means revenue already included in the 2014-15 budget that Council is set to approve this month, can’t be counted. That could mean a reduction of $1.7 million to the city’s proposed budget.
Most businesses in the city’s current fee schedule are charged $25-$200 a year, but large retailers pay more, based on their yearly sales.
Mayor Saffo said, “The City of Wilmington, like other cities across the state, want to address the inequity of the current tax structure, but we are very concerned that such an unexpected and significant cut to our local budget with no way to replace it will put undue pressure on local property owners, our citizens.”
The city will be working with local law makers to make a “technical correction” that would allow billing this year so that Wilmington has the same one-year buffer as other cities.
See what local business owners are saying about Wilmington's film industry