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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Leaders in Chadbourn are discussing a possible tax increase for some business owners in the area.
In order to balance this year's budget, Chadbourn town council members forfeited their salaries and had to move a little more than $56,000 from their fund balance. To help solve financial issues in the future they're considering several options and one might not sit well with some business owners.
Town council members in Chadbourn want the bigger chains and companies to pay more to do business in town limits.
"We're looking very closely at the privilege tax license," explained town council member Fax Rector. "Our major concern right now is we have some major businesses in town that are owned by stock owners that are paying a very low fee. We feel we should be able to get some more revenue from those sources."
Rector said the tricky part will be leaning on larger franchise operations without hurting the smaller, locally grown businesses.
"Many of our major businesses are family owned and been here for years," said Rector. "We're trying to look at that as maybe away of increasing our revenue without putting people in a bind. We don't want people to get mad at us and move out of town."
Richard Ward, the owner of Smoker's Haven, is not on board with what council members are considering. He said it would make his privilege licenses jump ten times higher.
"All items I sell are high ticket items. It's not a $2 item," said Ward. "Someone comes in and buys a carton of cigarettes it could cost $50 at one time."
Chadbourn council members will discuss the issue again during their next council meeting. They will also consider getting a consultant to help them determine the best plan.
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