Watauga County Commission Public Hearing on Financing Proposed $ 35 Million County Recreation Center in Boone

Friends:

Watauga County had a 13% property tax increase in 2017 primarily to finance the subject proposed facility.  Despite this large increase the county will have to borrow a substantial additional amount to build this facility.  Additionally a consultant hired by the county has estimated that the county will be spending at least an additional approx. $ 400,000 plus per year for operational expenses for the facility.  Of course, additional substantial amounts will be required for building maintenance. SUBSTANTIAL ADDITIONAL PROPERTY TAX INCREASES COULD BE REQUIRED FOR THIS FACILITY.  Sales tax increases to finance the subject facility have been defeated twice by county voters in the past ten years. While the current Watauga Co. 35.3 cents/$ 100 of property value rate may appear low, county property values are very high compared to other N.C. counties.  For example, officials at Appalachian State University are concerned because of the inability of faculty members to find affordable housing in the county.  At the same time Watauga is ranked as the third poorest county in the state with 31.3%  of the population living below the poverty income level. 25% of the Watauga residents receive assistance with food.  These numbers are huge and very alarming.  Please see local media articles available on the internet for more information on this proposed facility.

The subject PUBLIC HEARING will be held in the Watauga County Commission Boardroom at 814 W. King St. in Boone at 5:30 P.M. next Tuesday August 21, 2018.

We encourage you to attend this meeting and to speak on the issues impacting this important long term taxpayer commitment.

Best regards,

George

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