Shoppers at Lowe's Home Improvement in Southern Pines

File photo, shoppers at Lowe's Home Improvement in Southern Pines in April 2020.

Sales tax receipts increased 15 percent in June compared to the same time last year, according to numbers announced this week by Moore County.

During Tuesday’s regular business meeting, Board Chairman Frank Quis reported June 2020 sales tax revenues were $2,430,811 compared to $2,099,474 in 2019.

“I think that indicates people are staying home in Moore County and spending their money here. And that is a good thing,” said County Commissioner Catherine Graham.

Unfortunately, sales tax receipts have been uneven in recent months. This makes it difficult to predict the overall financial impact. In May 2020, local sales tax revenue was down nearly $575,000 compared to 2019; but April revenue tracked in at 7 percent higher compared to 2019 figures.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, Moore County received approximately $23 million in sales tax revenues -- an 18 percent increase over 2019’s numbers.

However, county officials adopted a conservative budget for the current fiscal year prompted by concerns about the pandemic and ordered business shutdowns earlier that began in mid-March.

At the time, County Manager Wayve Vest projected up to a $3.2 million reduction in sales tax revenues this fiscal year. If proven out, even with a projected $1.4 million increase in property tax revenues — based on 2 percent growth in the tax base — the county will still be in the hole by $1.7 million.

Quis noted room tax receipts from overnight visitors are also still down compared to 2019 figures, but have been trending in the right direction.

“The occupancy taxes are not better than last year but they are hanging in there,” Quis said. “While it is down, it is only going to improve. So some good news on the economy right here. Let’s focus on the positive.”

In July, the county tallied $146,458 in occupancy tax receipts versus $156,374 in 2019 -- approximately a 6.3 percent decrease.

In other action on Tuesday, the Moore County Board of Commissioners:

Approved a conditional rezoning request for an 8-acre expansion of an existing sand mining operation on Partridge Lane in West End.

Approved a conditional rezoning request for warehouse operation on a 4.15-acre tract on Mills Place in Biscoe, near the Moore/Montgomery county line.

Approved a conditional rezoning request for a pallet recycling and production operation on a 28.9-acre parcel off N.C. 705, adjacent to the Robbins Center operated by Sandhills Community College.

Approved a conditional rezoning request for a proposed small shopping center at 7627 N.C. 211 in West End, near Shining Stars Child Development Center. Plans call for a strip plaza with three as yet-unnamed business tenants. The site design will conform to new shared county/town highway overlay standards.

Approved a conditional rezoning request for a retail firearms and accessories sales facility on Stanton Hill Road near U.S. 15-501 in Cameron. Plans call for a separate commercial site with a new retail building that will mimic the architecture of the nearby owner-occupied residence.

Approved the purchase of 137 laptop computers for teleworking employees of the county. The $223,114 expenditure would be primarily funded through the pandemic relief grant.

Approved the purchase of a new ambulance for Moore County EMS. The $243,658 expenditure would be funded through the pandemic relief fund.

Approved the purchase of a used dozer for Moore County landfill operations to replace an inoperable track loader. The $261,080 expenditure would be funded primarily through a five-year financing agreement. Solid Waste Director David Lambert said the dozer was a more appropriate machine for the need and would provide for better compaction at the site.

Recognized Tony Price, CEO of Moore Free & Charitable Care Clinic for his leadership. He was honored for nearly single-handedly raising funds to double the size of the clinic while ensuring no interruption of services to clients despite the recent challenges of the Covid-19 crisis.

Proclaimed September as National Recovery Month and recognized the contributions of Drug Free Moore County. The organization works to prevent and combat substance abuse by increasing awareness, providing information and encouraging support for various recovery initiatives and programs.

Proclaimed Oct. 4-10 at Mental Illness Awareness Week in Moore County to raise awareness, provide educational information and eliminate the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

(4) comments

Ed Pieczynski

So each of those 137 laptops cost over $1600!

Kent Misegades

This is because thinking people refuse to succumb to fear mongering from our government and the media and have done their best to get on with their lives. Where are the consequences for those who fabricated this phony panic-demic?

Dan Roman

Kent Misegades The Pilot/Pinehurst Pinocchio once again delivers another big bowl of word salad, all his daffy opinion, meaning nothing. Kent is "special", in the worst way, a human toddler who thinks he is smarter than the world, too self absorbed to realize what he writes is pitiful.

Mark Hayes

He keeps fishing with the same bait, and being the bottom feeder you are, you suck it down like yellow belly catfish. I don't believe he even needs bother baiting the hook with in the pond. Stay stupid Putz.

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