It is a rarity that citizens vote in favor of tax increases, but that is exactly what happened yesterday in New Hanover County. There was an overwhelming majority in favor of the Wilmington Transportation bond and New Hanover County school bond.

What does this mean for the county?

The Wilmington Transportation bond was approved for $44 million and the city will allocate other funds for a total of $55 million for the proposed projects. The areas planned for improvement are marked by large blue signs around the city. The funds allocated for the projects are broken down as follows:

–          $33 million in road improvements

–          $20 million in sidewalks, crosswalks, and trails to improve pedestrian access

–          $2 million in public transportation

The New Hanover County school bond was approved for $160 million. This bond’s 14 projects will address the county’s top concerns of safety, increase enrollment, and infrastructure. The projects will include a new elementary school, several replacement schools, and renovations to eight existing schools. There will also be safety and infrastructure improvements throughout the county.

What does this mean for taxes?

The Wilmington Transportation bond will increase the city’s property tax rate by 2 cents starting July 1, 2015 and lasting for twenty years. This means for every $100 worth of home value you will pay an additional 2 cents per year. Note that this is a city tax so citizens in New Hanover County not in the city limits will not be subject to this tax.

The New Hanover County school bond will increase the city’s property tax rate by 3 cents and lasting for twenty years. This means for every $100 worth of home value you will pay an additional 3 cents per year. This is a county wide tax.

Property taxes are deductible on your individual income tax return if deductions are itemized. This means that not only will those taxes pay to improve the county, but can provide income tax benefit as well!