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Clarksville residents wary of boundary changes

SoVaNow.com / November 14, 2012
One week after Mecklenburg County and Clarksville reached an agreement on annexation, local businesses and residents are holding their breath, waiting to learn how the agreement will affect them.

Joe Davidson, head of Mecklenburg County Community Services Corporation (MCCSC) Board, had hopes the property owned by MCCSC on which the Enrichment Complex is located would be annexed into the town.

“A couple of years ago we requested that the town annex us (the Enrichment Complex), in order to give us access to the remainder of town services, such as police protection and trash pickup.”

However, it appears from the annexation area B1 map, which covers the annexed lands located near the Enrichment Complex, that the complex will remain outside town limits. Annexation area B1, is 57.96 acres of land owned by Bernice F. Dailey and Elizabeth Y. Ford and Donna Y. Devane, north of U.S. Highway 58 By-Pass. All property south of that, between U.S. Highway 58 By-Pass and S.R. 722, Noblin Farm Road are excluded from the annexation.

Local resident Cliff Kratt, who lives in the Stripers Cove Subdivision near the old Burlington Mills site, said, “I am waiting to see what the tax rate is compared to the bill I now receive every two months for (out-of-town) water and sewer.” He did not know whether the reduction that comes from paying in-town water and sewer rates would offset his increase in taxes. “At least the tax payments are deductible,” he added.

Kratt also expressed his strong hope that the town would treat all local residents the same as current residents, extending trash pickup and police protection, and other services to them once the agreement is effective.

Several businesses that escaped annexation expressed relief that they were not included in the newly drawn town limits, as did homeowners along Noblin Farm Road, who railed against annexation from the start. The home owners repeatedly said that the town provided no benefits to them, especially since they had their own wells and septic plants.

Businesses located outside the town, while continuing to pay state and county taxes, are exempt from the additional taxes imposed on those inside the town limits. According to an August letter from Charles Lee, acting Town Manager, in-town businesses must pay the following additional taxes and license fees:

• A real property tax equal to $0.24 per $100 of appraised value;

• A personal property tax of $1.65 per $100 of appraised value on business vehicles, computers, furniture and fixtures;

• Business/Professional/Occupational licenses ranging from $0.05 per $100 in receipts up to $0.32 per $100 in receipts;

• For restaurants and food service providers, a meal tax of 5% on all prepared foods; and

• For hotels, inns, and Bed and Breakfast establishments offering lodging to transients, a 5.5% tax.

For now, both residents and business are waiting to see what the Commission on Local Government has to say about the Annexation Agreement.

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