Gaston Commissioners kill tax increase in a very close vote

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - By a narrow vote, County Commissioners decided not raise taxes on homeowners by a whopping ten percent.

The vote was so close, the deciding ballot was cast by phone from a Commissioner who had to leave early before the issue was decided.

That broke the tie, and in a 4-3 vote, the County Commission dismissed raising property taxes in Gaston County.

The proposal was for an 8-cent increase, which at face value doesn't sound like a lot, but many were concerned that could add up.

Instead they're keeping the tax rate as it is.

According to the Gaston Gazette, that was a big relief to many in the audience who attended Wednesday nights meeting.

The budget, which was proposed by the City Manager, would have helped close the 100-million dollar gap in two educational bonds voters decided on back in 2009.

The money would have also paid for public school repairs, and economic development.

One critical need the county had was a quick-response Medic truck. The Commissioners were worried because many felt it was talking too long to get emergency services out to more rural parts of the county.

The truck will be purchased, the money coming from the general fund.

County employees will also get a 3% raise. That money will go to help increased healthcare costs.

The Gazette reports workers haven't seen a pay raise in 4 years.

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