Up & Coming Weekly

February 19, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 12 of 36

12 UCW FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Cumberland County's governing board has asked the community's legislative delegation to repeal the sunset provision of the local Prepared Food and Beverage Tax. Commissioners made their request Feb. 11 at a joint meeting with local North Carolina Senate and House members. Sen. Ben Clark, D-District 21, had mentioned prior to the meeting that it will soon be time to end the tax or share its proceeds with local municipalities. e tax, also known as the restaurant tax, was imposed in 1993 to help pay for the Crown Coli- seum at the county entertainment complex off East Mountain Drive. e sunset provision will take effect in 2024 when the debt on the Crown Coliseum is paid off. e law as written requires that the restaurant tax be ended. But commissioners have plans for the revenue estimated at $3.3 million. e $3.3 mil- lion is the annual supplement the county makes in Coliseum debt service. Once the debt is retired, the money can be used for other things, unless the legislature enforces the sunset clause. at raised the question among some, including Clark, as to why there was a sunset provision in the law that created the tax 25 years ago. Rep. Billy Rich- ardson, D-District 44, who served in the state House at the time and was recently re-elected, said citizens would have been even more opposed to the Bubba Dome had that provision not been included. Bubba Dome was a nickname for the coliseum at the time. e county has been considering building a performing arts center, probably in downtown Fayetteville, using restaurant taxes to help pay for it. "We've been talking about this for at least five years," said County Commission Vice-Chairman Mar- shall Faircloth. He added that the tax proceeds are "do or die" when it comes to a performing arts center. Another proposed change in the law is that the Civic Center Commission be authorized to construct a performing arts center whether or not it is affili- ated with the existing civic center commonly known as the Crown Complex. Commissioners also disclosed a set of other requests it had for the state legislature. One of them is a change in the law governing public health nuisances. Counties are virtually powerless to deal with anything dangerous or prejudicial to public health or safety without going through a labori- ous process. e county is asking for the same authority the North Carolina General Assem- bly has granted cities and towns. e city of Fayetteville, for example, has statutory author- ity to remove, abate or remedy everything in the city limits and within one mile of the city found to be a health or safety hazard. Commissioners also favor adding a percent- age to the sales tax in support of rural volunteer fire departments; repealing statutory author- ity given boards of education to sue county governments; and seeking state participation in the Grays Creek public water project in areas af- fected by possible GenX contamination. e exact amount of the proposed sales tax increase has not been determined. e 90-minute meeting ended without either governing body taking any action. Will sunset provision of restaurant tax come to pass? by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS e tax, also known as the restaurant tax, was imposed in 1993 to help pay for the Crown Coliseum at the county entertainment complex off East Mountain Drive. JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Fort Bragg Family & MWR HIRING EVENT TOLSON YOUTH ACTIVITIES CENTER Normandy Drive & Reilly Street FEBRUARY 26 • 9 am - 1 pm • Qualied applicants will be interviewed on the spot • Must bring the following: Resume, Certication (if applicable) and 3 Professional References • Highly encouraged to apply in advance on USAJOBS.gov OPEN TO EVERYONE For a list of open positions please visit bragg.armymwr.com

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