Davidson considers fire-tax districts
by Staff Writer
Mecklenburg County plans to change how it funds fire protection services for unincorporated areas, including Davidson’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Town Manager Leamon Brice presented the county’s plan to create five fire protection service districts to the board at their Tuesday, Jan. 10, meeting.
Under the concept the county board approved, the extraterritorial jurisdictions of Charlotte, Mint Hill, Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson would each become a district.
Currently, Mecklenburg County allots $87,500 a year to each town to fund fire protection for their extraterritorial jurisdictions from the county’s general fund.
In fire tax districts, extraterritorial jurisdiction residents would pay taxes for their own fire protection. Davidson’s extraterritorial jurisdiction residents would see a fire tax rate of approximately 4.5 cents, according to county projections.
While that tax burden would be lifted from residents within town limits, the cost per taxpayer is so small that those residents would not see any real decrease in their county taxes.
Brice gave the board four options. Davidson could do nothing, request a fire tax district for the extraterritorial jurisdiction, request a fire tax district for the town or request a fire tax district encompassing the town and extraterritorial jurisdiction. They’ll vote on an option later.
Creating a district for the town and extraterritorial jurisdiction would mean the county no longer subsidizes $87,500 a year to Davidson for fire services, but that money would be raised by extraterritorial resident taxes. The town would have to pick up $21,424 in additional costs such as radio maintenance, Brice said.
Going forward, Brice will be looking into options to guarantee that the county allots Davidson its fire budget from extraterritorial residents’ new fire taxes and finding out if the change could affect Davidson’s sales tax allotment.
Red Line discussions progress
Since Red Line consultants released their financing plan in December, questions have been pouring in. All of those questions, and official answers, should be posted online at RedLineRegionalRail.org Friday, Jan. 13, Mayor John Woods said.
Residents will be able to submit questions to the website for consultants to answer completely and accurately, streamlining communication and clarifying confusion about the project.
Red Line consultants will be on hand at the board’s Jan. 24 work session at 6 p.m. at Town Hall for a public hearing on the proposed rail.
Planning Manager Lauren Blackburn will also be holding a public workshop on Davidson’s plan for the area surrounding the potential rail station Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 17-19 at Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents are invited to come when they can to contribute their suggestions for the station area.
In other board business
Mayor John Woods appointed commissioners and town staff to the following committees:
• Commissioners Connie Wessner and Rodney Graham will sit on the Nominating Committee in November to nominate citizens for various committees and task forces.
• Commissioner Graham and Downtown Manager Kim Flemming will represent Davidson on the Visit Lake Norman Board.
• Commissioners Laurie Venzon and Jim Fulller will nominate volunteers for the MI-Connection board of directors as current terms expire.
The board adopted a uniform procedure to approve alcohol on town-owned or controlled property. Event planners wishing to serve or allow alcohol on town property may submit a request to the board at least 30 days in advance. The board can also grant alcohol approval for ongoing events, to be reviewed after one year. The board can revoke that approval at any time.